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Mum claims false widow spider bite may have saved baby's life

Mum claims false widow spider bite may have saved baby's life

"The spider bite has kind of risked his life but at the same time saved it."

A mum has claimed a false widow spider bite on her baby may have ended up saving her young son’s life.

Kourtney Haynes was horrified when the UK’s most dangerous spider crawled into six-month-old Bentley’s crib on Wednesday 20 September and bit him as he slept last week.

She rushed him to Colchester Hospital, where doctors identified the mark as a spider bite and set about ‘draining the poison’ out of little Bentley’s body.

Kourtney with son Bentley.
Kennedy News and Media

However, as they treated the infant, staff discovered that the plot thickened much further.

Kourtney said: "I went to bathe the baby and saw bloody discharge on his vest. I stripped him and saw a green/brown bruise on the outside of his nipple.

"I took him downstairs to my nan because she's a nurse. I thought it could be a gnat bite but she said gnat bites don't tend to bruise.

"He was a bit unsettled during the night but I thought it was because he was teething. He wasn't drinking his bottles properly, he didn't eat breakfast, he had a temperature. I thought he was a bit run down, until I noticed the marks.

"I took him to Colchester Hospital at about 1pm and they noticed straight away it was a false widow bite. There were two individual little needle pricks which were the fang marks from the spider.

Mum Kourtney noticed bloody discharge on his vest whens he went to bathe him.
Kennedy News and Media

"It hadn't crossed my mind that it could be a spider bite. I was shocked, I was really worried.

"It must've happened during the night because I bathed him the night before and didn't notice anything."

Hospital staff were carrying out more checks after draining the spider poison when they noticed a suspicious lump under his nipple.

Kourtney, who is also mum to eight-year-old Alfie, said: "As they were draining the poison out, [doctors] felt a lump under Bentley's chest and thought it could be a sack of poison.

"They did a scan and said it could be a mass, growth or tumour - they didn't quite know.

"He's got two separate little lumps on his left nipple. There's the lump from the spider bite which must be the poison then there's a lump on the left side.

Kennedy News and Media

"The lump is rock solid and [doctors] said that's not normal and no baby should have a lump on their breast like that. They said it's just below the size of a golf ball.

"That's not normal with babies. [Medics] were concerned. They were worried about getting the spider bite treated because it can turn into sepsis with babies.

"They were worried about the infection going into his bloodstream and they were worried about this mass.

"I hadn't felt it before. When he was newborn, he was checked for lumps and bumps and didn't find anything. It could be where the spider has gone into the skin and where the poison has lifted the lump to the surface."

Thankfully, further scans revealed the mass on Bentley's chest was non-cancerous.

However, Kourtney fears it could have eventually turned ‘cancerous’ if it had been left untreated.

She continued: "The spider bite has kind of risked his life but at the same time saved it.

Doctors had to 'drain the poison’ out of little Bentley’s body.
Kennedy News and Media

"We would never have known about the mass if the spider bite hadn't had happened so it's a win-lose situation.

"Luckily the growth is benign, it isn't cancerous. They'll operate once the infection is gone.

"It could've turned cancerous, especially if the infection goes inside of it. So they're glad we spotted it.

"He's only six-months-old - and six months for a mass is nothing compared to years down the line.

"[Doctors] are glad we spotted it. They said if it wasn't for the spider bite, we wouldn't have known about it. I feel really relieved.”

Bentley has an infection that has now spread to his blood, and has been given stronger antibiotics.

If it’s not cured, Kourtney said he’ll have to be taken into hospital until the infection is gone.

She also said that Bentley has shown signs of paralysis on the left side of his body, which she believes may be related to the venomous spider bite.

He is still being treated for the infection.
Kennedy News and Media

The concerned mum said: "He used to roll over on both sides. He can hardly pick up toys with his left arm, he can't roll or lay on that side.

"They don't know what it is - it could be the spider bite has caused an abscess which is putting pressure on the left side of his body or it could be related to the lump or it could be the infection.

"I think his arm aches and knows that he can't use it."

Medics told Kourtney her son is at high risk of developing sepsis due to the spider bite, with Bentley now having his nipple drained daily to reduce risk of infection.

The Wildlife Trusts says on its website that confirmed false widow spider bites are rare, adding: “Most recorded bites occur because of people accidentally touching a spider which then reacts defensively.

“In the extremely rare confirmed cases where a noble false widow has bitten someone, the bite has been compared to a wasp sting. In even rarer cases, the bite may cause a person to feel unwell for a short time.”

Featured Image Credit: Kennedy News and Media

Topics: Animals, Parenting, UK News, Health