Jonathon Hogg, a keen footballer and kickboxer, has required three operations and a skin graft since the brown recluse spider attacked and bit him.
Within hours, the venom began to eat away at the 40-year-old’s flesh – doctors say he could have lost his leg had it been left untreated.
Mr Hogg, from north London, 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.”
The barrister believes he was bitten while travelling on a Qatar Airways flight from Doha to South Africa – and is now taking legal action against the airline, alleging it has refused to take responsibility.
He added: “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 painful.”
A Qatar Airways spokesperson said:
“The only known interaction between the airline and Mr Hogg regarding this incident, which he claims happened on a Qatar Airways aircraft in June, was via our website a week after his travel was complete. No report was filled with any staff on board regarding this incident.
“We have also not been advised of any legal proceedings regarding this incident. In the circumstances we cannot comment further but will, of course, investigate any further information which is brought to our attention formally.
“Qatar Airways takes the safety and security of our customers very seriously.”
When Mr Hogg’s leg first swelled up and became bruised, he took painkillers and mistook it for deep-vein thrombosis.
But the pain got worse a day later and his friends urged him to see a doctor, thinking it looked like a spider bite.
He had taken five months off work for a once-in-a-lifetime holiday and the ordeal began shortly after he finished volunteering at an orangutan sanctuary in Borneo.
He was travelling on to South Africa so he could dive with sharks.
– See more at: https://loversnurse.wordpress.com/spiderravagesman’sleg