WASHINGTON, Nov 29, (Agencies): When Colin Blake observed his toe turning an alarming shade of purple and swelling, a sense of unease settled upon him. Hailing from Cramlington, Northumberland, Blake recounted the peculiar incident that unfolded during his 35th wedding anniversary cruise in France. It was amidst the celebration that he first noticed the disconcerting change in his toe’s color.
Seeking medical attention aboard the cruise ship, Blake was started to learn from the ship’s doctor that he had fallen victim to a Peruvian wolf spider bite. To his horror, the doctor revealed that the spider had not only bitten him but had also laid eggs in his toe. The presence of wolf spiders in French city ports, often transported via cargo ships, was identified as the likely source.
Under the ship’s medical team’s care, Blake’s toe was incised, releasing a distressing mix of pus and peculiar matter resembling leaves. To his disbelief, it was discovered that the fluid contained spider eggs. The incident unfolded during a peaceful meal with his wife in Marseille, France, where, unbeknownst to Blake, the spider had bitten him. The particular breed of spider is notorious for numbing its prey before laying eggs.
Recalling the episode on a radio show, Blake mentioned his wife’s initial speculation that the discomfort might be due to his new sandals causing friction on his big toe. Upon his return to the UK, Blake was promptly admitted to the hospital, where antibiotics were administered to relieve the swelling. As the swelling diminished, the distinct bite marks left by the spider became visible on his foot.
Despite the expectation of a full recovery, a bizarre turn of events occurred four weeks later. Blake noticed unusual developments in his toe and, upon investigation, discovered that a spider egg had been overlooked during the initial medical intervention. In a subsequent procedure, doctors opened Blake’s toe once again, this time extracting a spider that had succumbed to the effects of antibiotics.
Reflecting on the experience, Blake shared, “One of the spider eggs hadn’t been flushed and must have hatched. They believe the spider was making its way out—eating its way out of my toe.” Expressing a peculiar request, he added, “I did ask if I could keep it, but they said no.”
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