WARNING - GRAPHIC IMAGES: Brown recluse spider leaves Stevenage man needing surgery after being bitten in Turkey

PUBLISHED: 14:58 22 September 2017 | UPDATED: 13:37 25 September 2017

Scott Lower was on his fifth trip to Turkey with wife Mandy, 44 and son Harrison aged eight, when he was bitten. Picture: Scott Lower

Scott Lower was on his fifth trip to Turkey with wife Mandy, 44 and son Harrison aged eight, when he was bitten. Picture: Scott Lower

Archant

A Stevenage man needed surgery after what he thought was a mosquito bite turned out to be a bite from a venomous spider.

Brown recluse spider's venom can be deadly depending on the victims reaction. Picture: Public Health Image Library Brown recluse spider's venom can be deadly depending on the victims reaction. Picture: Public Health Image Library

Scott Lower noticed the small bite on his leg getting bigger and more painful on his flight home from a two-week family holiday in Sarigerme, Turkey, with his wife Mandy and eight-year-old son Harrison.

He took himself to Stevenage’s Lister Hospital to seek treatment and was told that it may be an infected mosquito bite and prescribed antibiotics.

After a few days back at work where he was constantly having to limp, his leg continued to get worse.

He returned for a second visit to the hospital, where the true nature of his bite was still not recognised, and his prescription was doubled.

Day 4 after bite: Scott's leg blisters and becomes more painful. Picture: Scott Lower Day 4 after bite: Scott's leg blisters and becomes more painful. Picture: Scott Lower

The 44-year-old told the Comet: “When it first happened we thought it was a mosquito bite that had got infected, but it kept getting worse and worse. It was awful.

“I quickly got in touch with the hotel village and they said it might be a brown recluse spider. I did my research and that’s when I started worrying.”

Scott’s research of the potentially deadly spiders confirmed that his symptoms did in fact match those of a brown recluse bite.

It was only after he returned to Lister for a third time and convinced doctors that he had been bitten by a spider that they admitted him.

Day 5 with bite: Scott's skin is beginning to die from necrosis, one of the less common reactions to a Brown ecluse spider bite. Picture: Scott Lower Day 5 with bite: Scott's skin is beginning to die from necrosis, one of the less common reactions to a Brown ecluse spider bite. Picture: Scott Lower

These spiders have a poisonous necrotic venom, which kills the cells or tissue in the affected area and, in serious cases, can cause the damaged area to become gangrenous.

Scott’s surgery involved incisions to remove the dead muscle and tissue, and left him with a large hole in his lower leg. He remained in hospital for three days, and has been back since to have his dressing changed.

The attack of the brown recluse seems to be on the rise, as former X Factor contestant Christopher Maloney was reported to have gone into anaphylactic shock and had to be resuscitated after being bitten earlier this month.

“Someone contacted me on Facebook who had exactly the same happen to them in the same hotel only one week before,” said Scott.

Post surgery: Scott's wound was operated on to remove all the necrotic cells and tissue, and was left with a large hole. Picture: Scott Lower Post surgery: Scott's wound was operated on to remove all the necrotic cells and tissue, and was left with a large hole. Picture: Scott Lower

“They had to have three operations and now need to have three months off work.

“I’m still throwing up and getting headaches today.”

He added: “I would like to raise awareness. Had we realised sooner, I may not have needed surgery.

“My advice would be to keep a very close eye on any bite and – if it seems out of the ordinary, causes unbearable pain and looks like other spider bites or mine – seek medical care and make sure you are treated appropriately. Oral antibiotics will not be enough.”

Scott has been signed off from work for the next two to three weeks, and prescribed strong pain killers and antibiotics, with his leg not likely to heal fully for about a month.

A spokesman for the East and North Herts NHS Trust – which runs Lister – said: “Mr Lower clearly has been through quite an ordeal. If he has any concerns about the care he received while at the Lister, we would welcome hearing from him.”

More news stories

Yesterday, 16:29

A free children’s ice rink will be among the attractions at Stevenage’s Roaring Meg Retail & Leisure Park whilst you do your Christmas shopping this year.

Yesterday, 16:02

A group of inventive car mechanics have embraced the Christmas spirit – and showed their environmental credentials at the same time – by building a giant Christmas tree out of recycled wheel rims.

Yesterday, 14:45

Stevenage Museum is celebrating the traditional Polish art of papercuts in a new exhibition which runs until March 3.

Yesterday, 13:44

Christmas is a time for celebrating and parties – and this year three North Herts artists are donating their time free of charge to help bring the festive spirit to Hitchin.

Most read stories

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Image
Read the The Comet e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter