A teacher feared he was having a stroke when his face suddenly drooped before realising he'd been bitten by a false widow spider.
Stuart Vesty said he woke up during the night to his face "throbbing" and the following morning noticed his the right side of his face had begun to sag leaving his wife "quite worried".
Initially worried he was having a stroke, the 50-year-old raced to the hospital, but before he left noticed a squashed spider lurking in his bed. Suspecting he could be staring at the culprit, Stuart boxed it up and took it with him.
"We'd put up a gazebo that day in the garden and I'm not sure if that's where the spider was but I banged my head on the gazebo on the way back in because it was dark," he said, recalling the day it happened last month.
"I got into bed and later in the night woke up with a really bad pain and throbbing down one side of my face. I took some antihistamines and went back to sleep".
Dad bitten on eyelid while he slept
At the hospital, doctors confirmed the dad-of-two, from Kent, England, had likely been bitten by the eight-legged animal and after examining it confirmed it was a false widow spider — whose bites produce necrosis of the flesh.
Fearing the bite had perforated the eyeball, doctors poured a dye into the health and social care trainer's eye to determine where the spider bit him, leaving a glowing green residue. Doctors later concluded he'd been bitten on his eyelid.
"I didn't really know anything about false widow spiders other than it's the most venomous spider [in the UK]," he said.
Hours later Stuart's eye began to ooze a luminous green liquid that he joked looked eerily similar to Arnold Schwarzenegger's cyborg character from 1984 hit film The Terminator."When I saw what it looked like, I was just jokingly thinking 'if I lose this eye, I want a full Arnie Terminator eye'."
Feeling lucky not to have lost his sight, Stuart said he has a newfound respect for the seemingly harmless critters.
"I didn't know much about false widow spiders but when I looked it up I read that there are people out there who have lost a hand, so I really feel lucky it was all okay," he said. "I'm much more aware of spiders - I certainly have a lot more respect for English spiders."
Eleanor Ovens/Kennedy News and Media
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