A holidaymaker who is is suing an airline after claiming a bite from a flesh-eating spider caused his leg to ‘burst and melt’ fears he will never fly again. Six hours into a flight from Doha to Cape Town he felt a pain in his leg before spotting a spider running across the floor. I was near the emergency exit and went to stretch my legs out.
Doctors told Jonathon Hogg he could have died after he was bitten by a poisonous brown recluse spider, which he believes happened on the Qatar Airways flight from Qatar to South Africa.
Within hours, the 40-year-old’s leg had ballooned and, by the time he reached hospital three days later it had “burst open”.
Mr Hogg, from Camden, north London, said: “They said had I been bitten on a vein I would be dead. It’s necrotic venom which eats the flesh.
“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.”
Doctors rushed him into surgery and cut away a large part of his leg where the venom had eaten the flesh.
He spent a month in hospital in South Africa, undergoing three operations and a skin graft, and only finished receiving treatment last week.
Victim: Jonathon Hogg fears he will never fly again
The keen footballer and kickboxer is now terrified of flying and fears he will never play sport again.
Mr Hogg, a barrister, had taken five months off work and had worked at an orangutan sanctuary in Borneo before travelling to South Africa in June to dive with sharks when his ordeal began.
Six hours into a flight from Doha to Cape Town he felt a pain in his leg before spotting a spider running across the floor.
He said: “It was that time on the flight when they turn the lights down so people can sleep. I was near the emergency exit and went to stretch my legs out. I crossed my right leg over my left leg to get comfortable and that’s when I felt the bite. It must have crawled up my trousers and got trapped.
“I asked for the lights to be turned up and saw the spider, but I didn’t connect it with my painful leg because it was so small. At first I thought it was deep vein thrombosis as I was at the end of a 36 hour journey.
“The bruise got bigger and bigger over the next couple of days. I took ibuprofen but it didn’t go down. Then I woke up on the third day and my leg had burst.
“It had collapsed and melted. I was in South Africa cage diving with Great White Sharks. I’d done that for two days with this leg.
“I was enjoying it so much I going to do it the third day when my colleagues took one look at my leg and said it was a spider bite and I should go to hospital.