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Australia Queensland Gold Coast mum’s small red lump almost cost her life

Palm Beach mother Kate Dwyer is recovering from a mysterious skin condition that could have been fatal.image www.newcures.info

Palm Beach mother Kate Dwyer is recovering from a mysterious skin condition that could have been fatal. Picture: David Clark

IT started off as a small red lump but in just a day it grew to the size of a frisby and nearly cost Kate Dwyer her life.

The Palm Beach mother-of-two’s left buttock has been ravaged by a mysterious skin condition that has doctors and scientists baffled.

Debate rages over the origin of her growing wound which could have been caused by anything from bacteria to a flesh-eating spider.

Kate Dwyer recovering at home image www.newcures.info

Ms Dwyer, who has spent the past six weeks in and out of hospital, said she thought she was bitten by a white- tailed spider.

“I didn’t feel anything, I had no idea that I’d been bitten by something,” she said.

“It just noticed a little red dot on my left buttock, a bit like a pimple.”

The 35-year-old then started having bad body aches, a high temperature and she was vomiting every 10 minutes as the intruder took over her body.

“I was so unwell and everything hurt so I didn’t think much of the little dot and I just put antiseptic on it,” she said.

“I kept thinking it was nothing and that it would ­disappear.”

White Tailed Spider could be responsible for Ms Dwyer’s bite.CSIRO image www.newcures.info

A White Tailed Spider could be responsible for Ms Dwyer’s bite. Picture: CSIRO

Ms Dwyer said the little dot on her buttock quickly grew to the size of a golf ball and eventually to the size of a frisby within half a day.

“It was hard as a rock and really sore to touch,” she said. “The doctor said to go straight to hospital so I went to John Flynn Private ­Hospital.”

Doctors took one look at the wound and wheeled her into surgery where they tried to remove dead and unhealthy skin tissues.

Ms Dwyer has spent nearly two weeks in hospital where she underwent a second surgery and was told if the wound was left untreated it could have been fatal.

Ms Dwyer said she can’t recall feeling the near fatal bite.image www.newcures.info

Ms Dwyer said she can’t recall feeling the near fatal bite. Picture: David Clark

The photos of her buttock, which are too gruesome for publication, show the extent to which the poison ravaged her skin and flesh.

“It basically poisons your bloodstream,” she said.

“It was excruciating … it looks like it has been burnt.

“Skin is peeling off and there are blisters.”

The head of Queensland Museum’s arachnological division, Dr Robert Raven, said it was “impossible” for a white-tailed spider to cause such a reaction.

“There are only a couple of spider bites that can be recognised easily from the bite,” he said.

“The first one is the funnel web … and the second one is a redback.

“No other spider bites are diagnosable by the bite.”

White-tailed spiders are commonly found in homes throughout Australia and they tend to hide in bedding or within clothes left on the floor. Ulcers and necrosis have been attributed to the bites but a scientific study showed these were caused mostly by infections.

Ms Dwyer had to visit a nurse every day to rebandage her wound since leaving hospital and doctors have hooked her to a V. A. C therapy machine to continue healing her wound.

“I haven’t worked in six weeks,” she said. “I’m a single mum so I’ve had to ask for a lot of help.”

Ms Dwyer is expected to make a full recovery.

Originally published as Mum ravaged by mystery flesh-eater

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Henry Sapiecha

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