Rutherford man's warning after redback spider bite

The redback spider was a little worse for wear when Christian Smith found him in the bed.

The redback spider was a little worse for wear when Christian Smith found him in the bed.

BEFORE you ask, Christian Smith’s friends have already dubbed him Spiderman, asking if he acquired superpowers, after a redback bit him in his sleep.

Last month, the Rutherford man was fast asleep one night when, about 2am, he woke to the uncomfortable realisation.

A couple of days before the incident, Mr Smith saw the “really large redback” in his room.

He let it be, so he could show his girlfriend Angela.

But, when he went back a couple of days later, it had disappeared.

“I thought, ‘Oh, that’s probably not a good sign’,” Mr Smith said.

That night he went to bed, and woke in the early hours of the morning with pain rushing down his arm.

At first he thought Angela had been laying on his arm, cutting off the circulation.

“It felt like a really tight muscle,” he said.

“I went to the bathroom and I was stretching and doing all these things, and it was really painful and it just felt strange.

“Then I had a look at my body and on the side of my back there was this bite mark.

“I went to the bedroom to turn the lights on and right bang there [on the bed] was the fella – dead.

“So, I must have crushed him or something.

“Apparently my girlfriend, at some stage in the night, she felt like something was crawling on her, so she swiped it away.

“Maybe she pushed it onto me.”

After seeing the spider lying in his place, Mr Smith was unsure of what to do next, but his girlfriend sprung to action, taking him to Maitland Hospital.

The pair were there for some hours before leaving later that morning.

Mr Smith said because most people don’t have bad reactions to the arachnids, he didn’t receive antivenom for his bite.

“It didn’t look as if I was having a bad reaction so they gave me pain medication,” he said.

But, while the injury was not deadly, it still packed a punch, and in the days following the bite, the spot was painful.

“For a few days I was sweating and [had a] tingling sensation in my legs,” Mr Smith said, adding he was bitten near his spine.

“It was terribly itchy on my legs and, for some reason, there was just constant sweating on just my legs, and pins and needles.

“But, it cleared up a few days after.”

In hindsight, Mr Smith said he probably should have done something about the spider when he first saw it, but he wasn’t too worried, especially since he had never experienced a spider bite before.

“I tried to put it out of my mind actually – I’m terrified of spiders,” he said.

“My girlfriend’s had to deal with spiders for a while.”

Mr Smith suggested, if others found similar eight-legged visitors in their bedroom, they should probably carry them outside.

Maitland Mercury

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