A CARPENTER has told how he had to have the back of his hand REMOVED after a false widow spider left him inches from death.
Patrick Prescott, 54, was left in “excruciating” pain when the spider’s venom took hold – days after being bitten at work.
The dad-of-three from Dartford, Kent, took no notice when he spotted a shiny brown spider in a wall cavity he was working on near his home town last month.
But just days later, his hand turned black and blue – and a large wound began to emerge.
“I had a tiny red dot on my hand with a white spot in the middle and thought nothing of it,” Patrick told The Sun.
“Then two days later my hand turned blue.”
Patrick said he went to his local hospital where medics gave him antibiotics.
But despite taking the drugs for two days, his hand began to worsen – and the following night he woke up feeling like it was “in a barbecue full of coals”.
He said: “The little red lump had turned into a big black patch on my hand.
“I was being eaten from the inside out.
“The pain was excruciating and the antibiotics weren’t doing anything.”
Patrick was rushed to the Queen Victoria Hospital in West Sussex, where specialist doctors told him he had sepsis.
The infection in his hand turned out to be so severe he was left needing a skin graft – and had to have the back of his hand removed.
“I had an operation that afternoon and they cut the back of my hand out,” Patrick said.
“They left me for about three days and then they did a skin graft – they took the skin from the top of my thigh.”
I could have lost my hand and I could have lost my life. I didn’t realise what the danger was.Patrick Prescott
Doctors later told Patrick if the sepsis had travelled to his heart he could have died.
They also told him “half the skin graft hasn’t taken” meaning he may need to repeat the process again – “all for a spider bite”.
Patrick said: “When I had the operation I had a red line going up my arm and it was sepsis.
“I could have lost my hand and I could have lost my life.
“Apparently if it gets to your heart it’s game over. I didn’t realise what the danger was.”
Now, the carpenter fears he may never be fit for his job again if his hand fails to recover.
He said: “I think it might be a life changing injury.
“It will be a career change – I won’t be able to do what I used to do.
“I’ll go back to the hospital next week and see what they can do but it should be a long process.”
How dangerous is a false widow spider?
There are six different species of false widow living in the UK.
Although they do have a venomous bite, the venom is not considered that potent.
Most people will just feel pain where they are bitten and this may radiate away from the bite.
The pain usually lasts between one and 12 hours, and rarely for more than 24 hours.
Often, the symptoms are no worse than the pain of a wasp sting.
False widows are sometimes confused for black widow spiders and are mistakenly thought to be as dangerous.
Source: Natural History Museum