Friday, 11 October 2013

(PHOTO GIST): Decorator suffers horrific wound inflicted by poisonous spider that is plaguing Britain




A decorator will have to learn to walk again after he suffered a horrific bite from Britain's most poisonous spider.
Ricki Whitmore, 39, was bitten when he disturbed a nest of false widow spiders while working at a school.
Surgeons had to flush the spider's venom from his leg after his thigh swelled to twice its normal size.
Mr Whitmore, from Romford in Essex, will now have to undergo six months of specialist physiotherapy.
He is one of a number of people across the UK to suffer nasty bites from the spider, which is related to the lethal black widow, amid fears that numbers of the arachnid are soaring in Britain.
With temperatures outside plummeting as the winter months approach, millions of the spiders could make their way into homes across the country to escape the cold.


Mr Whitmore told how he was attacked by the spider, which can bite when threatened, because he never normally kills the creatures and instead tried to brush it out of the way as he worked.
His wife Carrie told the Daily Star that she was horrified when her husband staggered through the door of the family home looking pale and sweaty.
Intense treatment: Ricki Whitmore, pictured with his step-son Stanley (back), son Ricki jnr (front left) and daughter Olivia, will now have to undergo months of physiotherapy just to walk again
Intense treatment: Ricki Whitmore, pictured with his step-son Stanley (back), son Ricki jnr (front left) and daughter Olivia, will now have to undergo months of physiotherapy just to walk again
Once surgeons had initially flushed the poison out of his leg, Mr Whitmore had to have his thigh 'washed' eight times in the ensuing weeks.
He told the Star: 'I am just lucky to still have my leg.'
Experts believe that the spiders my be thriving in the UK because of a wet start to the summer followed by a heatwave.
Long-term climate change may also be to blame, leading spiders to set up home in new areas.
But some experts say many sightings of false widows could in fact be the common house spider.
False widows are distinctive for their shiny, black flesh, bulbous bodies, thick legs and skull-like patterns on their backs.

A 22-year-old footballer from Devon also needed emergency surgery after a nasty bite from the spider.
Steve Harris was left with a massive gash in his side after doctors had to cut away the poisoned section of his body.
Steve said: 'When I woke up I had a pain in my side - a stinging feeling. I didn't take that much notice until it started swelling and the pain got worse.
'I was in agony. I have never had pain like that before in my life. It's still very painful now. I still can't sleep properly and find it virtually impossible to get in and out of a car.'
Two other people also needed hospital treatment after being bitten by the spider in south London.
William Fraser, 14, was bitten at his home in on Thursday evening by a spider that is believed to be a false widow
The spiders are distinctive for their shiny, black flesh, bulbous bodies, thick legs and skull-like patterns
William Fraser, 14, was bitten (left) at his home in on Thursday evening by a spider that is believed to be a false widow (stock image, right)
William Fraser, 14, was bitten at his home in Sutton on Thursday evening by a spider that is believed to have got into his bedroom.
He woke the following day with a small bite mark on his forearm but by the time he got home from school on Friday his condition had worsened.
Mother Sarah Fraser said: 'The whole of his forearm had swollen from elbow to wrist.


'We gave him an anti-histamine and paracetamol. The next day he seemed to get better but on Sunday he just got worse and worse. He was feeling ill and he had to go to bed.
'We got him up to St Helier and the doctors and nurses hadn't even heard of false widows.
'When we showed them the article [in the local paper] the doctor seemed very concerned and wanted to keep him in overnight.'

In the end William was allowed home following a strong dose of penicillin and his condition has improved.
Alexander Giordano, 39, of Broomloan Lane in Sutton, was bitten on his shoulder and wrist.
His arm started hurting and his hand went numb and, as a childhood leukaemia sufferer, his immune system is weak so he went to A&E to be checked over and was put on a course of antihistamines, antibiotics and cream for the affected areas.
Spider experts say the animals only usually bite when threatened and if people are bitten they are best to treat the bites themselves and stop them from becoming infected.
Conservation officer Greg Hitchock, who works at the Kent Wildlife Trust, called for calm over the false widow.
He said: 'Lots of people said they have been absolutely sure that the spiders they have seen are false widows, but they’re not at all.  It’s not that straight-forward.
'The problem with sipders is that they are unpopular and not many people study them.
'Many of the "sightings" reported are probably not false widows at all.
'I think long-term, global warming could have led to an increase in the spider population.
'But any warm winter weather we had last year was followed by a very harsh March.



Horrific: A huge scar on Ricki Whitmore's thigh after he had to undergo emergency surgery after being bitten by the UK's most venomous spider, the false widow
Nasty bite: Mr Whitmore was bitten by the false widow spider, pictured, which is related to the deadly black widowIntense treatment: Ricki Whitmore, pictured with his step-son Stanley (back), son Ricki jnr (front left) and daughter Olivia, will now have to undergo months of physiotherapy just to walk againWilliam Fraser, 14, was bitten at his home in on Thursday evening by a spider that is believed to be a false widowThe spiders are distinctive for their shiny, black flesh, bulbous bodies, thick legs and skull-like patterns
Post a Comment