Local News

Man loses legs after white-tail spider bite

The tourist was visiting Australia when he was bitten.

A tourist visiting Australia has had both his legs amputated – and is at risk of losing both arms – after being bitten by a white-tail spider.

Filipino tourist Terry Pareja was spending time with relatives in northwest Victoria when he was bitten by the spider. However, he didn’t seek medical attention until days later.

By that time, his foot was already black and swollen. He was immediately rushed to Horsham hospital when they amputated his right leg before flying him to Melbourne, where his left leg and part of his bowel and spleen were removed.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BQMdtFsganr/?tagged=whitetailspider

His brother-in-law, Ray Ogleby, said his initial symptoms were much like a common cold and it wasn’t until the weekend that his leg started to turn black and he could barely walk.

“There’s no doctor service in Birchip on Saturday and Sunday so he waited until Monday,” he said.

Despite the initial surgeries, doctors say the necrotising fasciitis (flesh-eating bacteria) is still present in his system and have suggested amputating both arms according to the GoFundMe page set up by Pareja’s children.

“My dad went to Australia to visit my aunts and uncle for they have not seen each other for the longest time,” she wrote on the page.

“Now my dad is in ICU having two of his kidneys not working and is aided by kidney support.”

“I am not sure how well his arms are doing… they didn’t look too good last time,” his sister, Raquel Ogleby, told Fairfax

His kidneys have also been seriously affected and he remains in intensive care.

The GoFund me page has raised $7000 so far, but Pareja’s family says he’ll need $30,000 to cover his medical bills. His sister believes it could be more than 18 months before the man is able to return home.

Related stories