Spider Bite Leaves Man With Brain Swelling, Fighting for Life

A Scottish man spent three weeks in the hospital fighting for his life after a recent false widow spider bite caused inflammation of his brain.

Margaret Wood, from the seaside town of Largs, Scotland, told the Largs and Millport Weekly News that her husband was bitten above the eye by a false widow spider recently while he was in their garden cutting down a tree.

She said that within 48 hours of the bite her husband had to be rushed to the hospital fighting for his life after he lost the full control of his body, causing him to have to undergo several procedures, according to the report published on Wednesday.

"It turns out that he had an inflammation of the brain due to where the bite was," said Wood. "He was really ill in hospital for three weeks. He had to have three lumbar punctures to keep the inflammation down and they were treating him with heavy antibiotics on a constant drip."

She revealed that doctors were originally "stumped" by her husband's illness and did not initially think that it was caused by the spider bite.

"It was horrible and for a time it really didn't look good for him, even the doctors were stumped by the cause," said Wood. "I had thought it was a stroke, and I think at the beginning the doctors did too, but he could talk and didn't have any other symptoms."

Wood expressed surprise that her husband nearly died from a spider bite at their residence in Scotland, telling the Largs and Millport Weekly News: "He's been all over the world, and even worked in Dubai in the deserts, yet this happens right in his back garden."

According to ScienceDaily, the symptoms of a false widow bite can include "mild to debilitating pain and mild to intense swelling" in addition to "tremors, reduced or elevated blood pressure, nausea and impaired mobility."

The side adds that although the symptoms from bites are generally mild, "in rare instances, victims have developed minor wounds at the bite site or had to be treated for severe bacterial infections."

Wood confirmed that her husband has now made a full recovery and revealed that she has shared her story to warn other residents about the dangers of false widow spiders.

"I could have lost him if we hadn't been as quick getting him into the hospital to be looked at. It seemed a silly small bite, but it shows how important it is to take these things seriously," she said.

"I just want people to be made aware that this can happen, and that it is more prevalent this year due to the lack of people out and about. The spiders like dark places that are still warm so people should be careful when they are in and around trees in the garden.

"It was a spider I had never heard of before and when I found out I was shocked that there was something so dangerous in our area. My husband has recovered, but it was a frightening time."

False widow spider bit Scottish man
File photo of a false widow spider. A Scottish man was in the hospital fighting for his life after a recent false widow spider bite caused inflammation of his brain. iStock / Getty Images Plus/Steve_Hardiman