A Kapolei man has a lot to be thankful for this holiday season after he says a spider bite nearly cost him part of his leg.
Jeremia Rivera says he was bitten while walking in Kapolei on November 15th. The bite started out as a red bump, but within a matter of hours it started to worsen to the point where he had to go to the hospital.
“I felt a little poke in my leg I thought maybe it was a sticker or whatever.” Rivera recalled.
“so I Iooked and I didn’t see nothing but I looked again and I saw a little red bump so I was like something bit me.” he added.
Rivera says he found two puncture wounds and a brown spider in his blue jeans in the laundry. When the bite location started to blister, it eventually popped and conditions got much worse.
“When I wake up at 4:00 in the morning my leg is swollen like you wouldn’t believe. It’s like twice the size of my other leg and that spot turned into a hole. It was probably the size of a quarter at least. It was really shooting pain so I said I have to go to the hospital.”
He says the doctor told him he made it to the hospital just in time.
“He was worried that the redness if it would’ve started going up it would’ve been a bigger problem too where you can lose some limbs if it gets to that point.”
KHON2 spoke to University of Hawaii at Manoa Entomology Professor Daniel Rubinoff about what could have bitten Rivera.
“The brown recluse is a popular villain whenever one of these things happens. Whenever somebody gets a mysterious infection or bite or reaction on their body that they can’t explain otherwise it was a brown recluse.” Rubinoff said.
There are poisonous spiders like black widows in Hawaii, but a brown recluse would be unheard of.
“We’ve never recorded the brown recluse in Hawaii. Nobody has ever caught one. There is the related Mediterranean recluse here but it isn’t known to cause the same level of damage to people. It doesn’t cause the same kind of wound and it doesn’t seem to be a major problem.” Rubinoff added.
Rivera says that whatever bit him, seeking medical attention might have saved his life.
“If you’re not sure go to the doctor go right away. It was probably a mistake on my part if I would’ve gone right away it probably wouldn’t have gotten to that point.”