Having a fear of spiders is perfectly normal, and it is the most common fear in the world. This should not be surprising considering the physical damage that some spider species can cause to humans. Although everyone has been told numerous times that spiders are harmless, there is one Arkansas resident who would certainly claim otherwise. This resident had to have her leg surgically amputated, and she firmly believes that a spider bite was ultimately responsible. Although having a limb amputated as the result of a little spider bite may seem hard to believe, such cases have occured in the past. The alleged spider culprit in this woman’s case was a brown recluse spider, which many people will recognize as one of the most dangerous types of spiders to humans.


A woman living in Memphis, Tennessee, Kiara Boulton, sustained a spider bite to her foot. Although Boulton did not see the spider, she is convinced that it was a brown recluse. Boulton cannot be blamed for insisting that her bite was inflicted by a brown recluse, as these spiders have been sending more and more people to the emergency room over the past few years in Tennessee.


Understandably, Boulton could not stop worrying about the potential side effects of the bite, so she did not waste much time before reporting to her doctor. Her doctor prescribed antibiotics, and Boulton was then sent home. Unfortunately, three days later, Boulton noticed that a toe on her infected foot had turned black. This toe had to be amputated, and shortly after, so did her leg. Boulton’s leg was amputated above the knee as a result of infection. Her doctors were not able to conclusively determine if the spider bite was the cause, but brown recluse bites have been known to cause peripheral artery disease. This disease occurs when blood flow to a person’s limb/s becomes impeded by narrowing arteries. Due to this blockage of blood, the immune system cannot transport white blood cells to the affected limb, so the infection festers until amputation becomes a necessity. This disease may have led to Boulton’s amputation, and it may have been caused by the brown recluse bite.


Do you believe that spider bites cause more deaths and medical issues than is currently realized?