Matthew Mitchell shouldn't be alive after getting bitten by the world's deadliest spider. Venom from the funnel-web spider is powerful enough to kill a person in just 15 minutes. And yet, the Australian 10-year-old is still with us. And his incredible recovery is nothing short of a miracle!
Credit: Metro UK
Matthew was helping his dad clean out the shed at their family home near Sydney, Australia. He was moving a pair of sneakers when a funnel-web spider jumped out, wrapping itself around the boy's finger.
“It sort of clawed onto me and all the legs and everything crawled around my finger and I couldn’t get it off,” Michael recalled.
Before he was able to shake it off, the spider sank its fangs into the Michael's finger. David, the boy's father, heard his son yelp and saw him fling the insect onto the ground, which he instantly recognized as a funnel-spider. Terror mounted as David realized his son was bitten by the world's deadliest spider!
Time Is Of The Essence
The funnel-web spider is one of the most poisonous spiders on Earth. Its venom -- which attacks the nervous system causing foaming at the mouth and muscle spasms -- has the ability to kill within 15 minutes.
Fully aware of the extreme danger, David used a t-shirt as a tourniquet on Michael's arm in the hopes of slowing the spread of the deadly venom. It's a smart move that helped give this story a happy ending.
"He was rattled but he should be very proud of himself, especially for applying a pressure immobilization bandage," said Tim Faulkner, the general manager of the Australian Reptile Park, a zoo that studies funnel-web spiders, as well as milks them for anti-venom purposes just like these.
Next, the family piled into the car, rushing Michael to the hospital. The boyfriend of Michael's 17-year-old sister stayed behind, capturing the spider. He brought the insect to the hospital for identification.
Almost Too Late
By then, the venom was taking full effect on the 10-year-old boy. Michael's eyes dilated, he was frothing at the mouth and starting to have seizures. It took 12 vials of anti-venom -- the highest recorded dose of anti-venom ever given. But finally, Michael's symptoms were stabilized.
Miraculously, just one day later, Michael headed home!
"I’ve never heard of it, it’s incredible," Tim said. "To walk out of hospital a day later with no effects is a testament to the anti-venom."
Of course, we know God is to thank for everything coming together to save Michael. He clearly has a special purpose for this boy!
Saving More Lives
Part of that purpose appears to be saving others bitten by the world's deadliest spider.
"We're the sole supplier of funnel-web venom for the production of anti-venom," Mr Faulkner said.
Unfortunately, their stock of anti-venom had reached critically low levels. That is, until Michael's bite.
Tim took the spider that bit Michael back to the Australian Reptile Park, where it is milked regularly in order to produce more vials of anti-venom. So, after miraculously surviving the harrowing incident, Michael's experience will save lives in the future!
After being thrown into a storm drain, this baby miraculously survived!