A NINE-year-old boy was left with a decaying hole in his leg after he was bitten by a spider.

Bobby Cleary was told by a GP and by doctors at A&E he had simply suffered a gnat bite so mum Emma was horrified when the wound rapidly turned into a gaping hole and he had to be rushed to hospital.


Wound - the poison had eaten away at his flesh

Experts now say the worrying reaction was a result of a spider’s poison.

The 34-year-old mum from Canvey, who is a primary school teacher on the island, said: “On Monday we thought it was a gnat bite and Bobby reacts to them quite badly and they really itch.

"But by the Thursday, it was really itchy and swollen so I put some Savlon on it and didn’t think much more of it.

“By the end of the day, the after school club Bobby goes to called and said he was limping on his leg, and after lifting his trousers they saw it was weeping and didn’t look quite right, so we made an emergency appointment at the GP.”

Echo: Happy chappy - Bobby before the horrific ordealHappy chappy - Bobby before the horrific ordeal

After heading straight to their GP, it was confirmed as an uninfected bite. Bobby was given antihistamine and and pain relief.

Emma added: “The way the bite was looking I just knew it was infected so I was quite surprised when the nurse just prescribed antihistamine and pain relief and said to come back if it wasn’t improving after 24 hours.

“Then while Bobby was with his Nan, she called me and said we need to take him to hospital as it looked really infected.

“We got an emergency appointment at Orsett and they dressed it again and gave him antibiotics so I felt better about it and thought that would be that.

“We were told to leave a dressing on for 48 hours. After 48 hours we lifted up the dressing and I was devastated.

“From Friday, the skin was inflamed but flat, to the Sunday seeing the decaying flesh. My mum has a strong stomach but she gagged straight away.

“We took him back to A&E and he was put on an IV drip and they confirmed it was a spider bite and that the poison had began eating his flesh.

“I just knew something wasn’t right.

“I didn’t want to tell a doctor how to do their profession but I wished I’d have trusted my gut as his mum.

“We have been to Broomfield Hospital to see if he needed plastic surgery.

“Thankfully, he doesn’t but we will need to keep a close eye on it to make sure he doesn’t get sepsis and he will be scarred for life, but he has been so amazing throughout it all and we are off to the cinema now for a well deserved treat.”

It is thought the spider responsible is a false widow, also known as a 

The spiders are venemous but rarely a danger to humans, however, the poison can eat away at the flesh.

It is understood that false widows may have made their way to UK shores from Madeira or the Canary Islands in a shipment of bananas.

The Natural History Museum says that warmer summers mean the spider is spreading northwards through the UK, having been found mainly in southern England.