Man gets bitten by flesh-eating spider on airplane, almost loses leg


A British lawyer on the trip of a lifetime claims that he was bitten by a poisonous, flesh-eating spider while traveling on a plane to South Africa. He's now suing the airline.

Barrister Jonathon Hogg, 40, was on a Qatar Airways flight from Doha to Cape Town when he felt a "small, sharp pain" on his leg. Within hours, his leg became extremely swollen and was turning black. By the time he reached the hospital, Hogg's leg was "bursting open."

Doctors rushed Hogg into surgery and cut away a chunk of his leg where the venom had eaten his flesh. He almost lost his leg and doctors said he could have died from the bite, which they believe was by a flesh-eating brown recluse spider.

Instead of the amazing trip he envisioned, Hogg had to spend a month in the Cape Town hospital undergoing three operations and a skin graft. Three months later, he's still receiving medical treatment. He said:

"The pain was like nothing I've been through in my life. By the time I got to hospital my leg was bursting open, there was pus, it was black. It was a right mess. They told me if I had been any later I would have lost my leg or even died. It was terrifying."

Hogg had planned to spend the trip diving with sharks in South Africa. However, six hours into the flight, the incident occurred. He said:

"I was struggling to get comfortable during the journey and crossed my legs to get into a better position when I felt a small, sharp pain radiating in my left leg. I turned on the light and clearly saw a spider running across the floor before hearing two stewardesses screaming 'Spider', but I wasn't sure if I had been bitten as it really wasn't very painful."

The outcome of Hogg's lawsuit against the airline have not yet been determined.

Watch this video to learn more about brown recluse spiders:

Brown Recluse Infestation
Brown Recluse Infestation

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Originally published