A father of-three feared having his foot amputated after being bitten by Britain's most venomous spider. 41-year-old Jason Butler, was pottering around in his garden shed when he was assailed by five deadly false widow spiders.
One nipped Mr. Butler on the ankle and within hours the poison began to take effect and his leg swelled up to three times its normal size.
AdvertisementMr. Butler went to his local GP who prescribed a course of antihistamines. But they did nothing to help and Mr. Butler was shifted to hospital by his wife Sonia in "excruciating pain".
Expert surgeons conducted two operations to drain the wound and warned Mr. Butler they could have been forced to amputate if he had waited any longer for treatment.
Mr. Butler said he was in his garden shed and as he moved a box, four or five spiders ran out - like money spiders on steroids.
"I wasn't bothered because I'm not frightened of spiders. One bit me on the ankle. I felt the pinch, grabbed it and pulled it off. At the time it wasn't painful, just a gentle sting.
† "In hospital the doctors opened it out to drain fluid and the infection, and they did the same two days later. They told me that if I hadn't gone to hospital I could have been facing the amputation of my foot," he said.
Mr Butler is still fighting the bad effects of the spider bite four weeks later. Doctors have admitted him on antibiotics for six months as part of his treatment for the bite from the spiders.
He is being looked after by his family members at home in Barry, near Cardiff, and going through negative pressure vacuum wound treatment to get more of the infection out.
Jason and wife Sonia are convinced he was bitten by a false window spider. They are thought to have originally been brought to Britain in crates of fruit from the Canary Islands in the 1870s.
The spiders have typical cream markings on a brown bulbous body and reddish-orange legs
The symptoms of a bite range from experiencing of numbness, severe swelling and uneasiness, to various levels of burning or chest pains- but there have been no reported deaths.