Thomas Jay was taking a bag of trash to the bins outside his home in Chandler, Arizona, when he was bitten or stung by something he hadn’t seen before.
In an interview with KPHO, Jay said the unknown creature looked like a scorpion or a spider. He was able to catch a quick glance at it before feeling an intense pressure.
He told ABC News:
“I saw a bug sitting on my arm about the size of a thumbnail, and before I knew it, I felt the most excruciating pinch you could ever imagine.”
Jay swatted at it and immediately ran inside to his wife, Dee Petrov. Together, they tended the bite area.
Jay told KPHO:
“The bite itself was circular and it had a white sealed skin on top of it.”
Dee placed an adhesive bandage on the bite and drew a circle on her husband’s arm to monitor the swelling.
Within an hour and a half, the bite had doubled in size.
As Dee wrote on GoFundMe, Jay was rushed to a nearby hospital. But since nobody knew how to treat the unknown — and spreading — reaction on his arm, he was transferred to Phoenix.
Dee told KPHO that the hospital chose not use antivenom — or drugs used to help treat venom from bites — to treat the site. Instead they took samples of his blood and monitored him for signs of progress.
He has since been released, but is continuing to do tests.GoFundMe
Ten days after the bite, his arm is still bruised and in pain. He told KPHO:
“There’s still excruciating pain that’s in the arm and it moves to different places at different times.”
According to the Department of Entomology at Pennsylvania State University, spider bites are rare and most species are harmless to humans. In fact, Live Science reported that most suspected spider bites are actually infections.
But if a spider or another arachnid has been seen, and a bite is suspected, Pestworld.org recommends monitoring the site and visiting a doctor if symptoms worsen. Some of the symptoms of a spider bite can include:
- Pain, numbness, tingling
- Discoloration, especially halo or bull’s-eye shaped
Since it was unknown how the infection spread on Jay’s arm, doctors are carefully monitoring his progress to ensure he returns to good health.
As treatment continues, Dee is sharing her husband’s story to help more people know the dangers of sudden bite marks.