Soldiers and members of the United States military face a lot of risk when on deployment. With enemies looking to kill, death and danger is around every corner. Whether it is from ISIS suicide bombers or IEDs, those who are on active duty know that they need to be vigilant at all times. That’s why it is ironic that one soldier, who came back from his tour of duty unharmed, found himself in a life or death situation after waking up one morning with a bite on his leg. It all happened after Matt Clarke came back from deployment and woke up after a wonderful night sleep. With no explosions or gunshots in the background, he slept like a baby. But when he woke up he couldn’t deny the strange “tingly sensation” going through his leg. And that was the start of a life and death adventure for this veteran.
While Clarke knew the sensation was strange, he didn’t know that he had been bitten by a spider during the night while he slept. And it wasn’t just a regular spider, it was a false widow spider that had sunk its fangs into his leg. And a few days later after he didn’t seek treatment, he knew that something was seriously wrong with his leg.
“I just felt this dripping down my leg and it was a painful type of burning sensation,” Clarke said. “I then checked it out and the bite area had burst open – it was a hole I could see my muscles through. I couldn’t understand why the bite wasn’t healing so I tried to find answers. I researched spiders and my symptoms and I [realized] I had ben bitten by a false black widow.”
Upon that realization, Clarke knew that he was in big trouble. If he didn’t get help quickly, he could lose his leg. Or worse… his life.
When he visited with a doctor, the professional told him the bite was “toxic.” And if he wasn’t monitored closely, it could get much worse.
“I’ve been in the Army for 10 years, I’ve been all over the world and slept next to more dangerous spiders and never got bit. But I got bit in my own bed.”
Clarke served in the British army. And although the false black widow bite is not deadly, it resembles a black widow’s bite.
Fortunately, he didn’t lose his leg.
People sympathized with the soldier who had put his life on the line for his country. And he got the injury after coming home from his tour of duty only to get bitten by a spider in bed.
“I got my spider bite in a restaurant on Houston’s shop channel,” someone wrote in response to Clarke’s dilemma on Facebook. “Bite me 2x’s, I thought my leg was gonna rot off. Nothing drs. Did worked at first. Finally was put on antibiotics and cream call Ascend… you can’t even tell there was a bite. Both spots looked like raw meat. It’s awful. Hope you’re better soon.”