Man infected with rare flesh-eating bacteria after spider bite says he is ‘lucky to be alive’

Paul Jory. Picture: PAUL JORY

Paul Jory. Picture: PAUL JORY - Credit: Archant

A traumatised St Albans man was hospitalised after a huge spider bit him and he was infected with very rare flesh-eating bacteria.

In early May Paul Jory was eating a banana from his fruit box when he felt a tickle on the back of his hand.

Looking down, he saw what he described a “big spider, about 3in in size, with a big body with long legs”.

The 59-year-old added: “It didn’t look like a spider I had ever seen before and I am almost certain it was not a spider indigenous to the UK.”

He thinks it might have come from the fruit box but cannot be sure.

“I knew it was a nasty beasty, it didn’t look nice at all, so I stayed perfectly still because I didn’t want to aggravate it”.

Despite these attempts the spider lashed out, sending a “very painful” jolt which was “like a shock” through his arm and leaving him with a bite that swelled up to the size of a golf ball.

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Mr Jory hastily caught a taxi to Watford General Hospital accident and emergency, from which point his memory is hazy.

The doctors had put him into an induced coma to stop the poison spreading and he woke up a week later which a huge surgical scar from elbow to armpit.

“It is very traumatic to wake up, not know where you are, with your arm really open with a big gash and not knowing what was going to happen,” he said.

“First thing I said was: ‘Am I going to die?’”

He was then moved from Watford General to London’s Royal Free Hospital for more surgery.

However he is hopeful that the majority of his arm function will return.

It is unclear what exactly caused his extreme reaction but recent results suggest Mr Jory had been infected by a form of flesh-eating bacteria called necrotising fasciitis.

This could have come from the bite or been a completely separate coincidence.

In either case, Mr Jory is fortunate the infection did not spread further towards his neck, as this could have been life-threatening.

He added: “I am a normal guy who does his best and trys to make his best in life.

“I am lucky to be alive but I am happy.”

Mr Jory’s house has been emptied and fumigated to ensure the spider does not return and he is getting back to work managing his own business, Brandz Ltd.