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SYDNEY, 5 April 2017:
A man from the Philippines, who was visiting Australia, has had his legs amputated and could lose his arms after being bitten by a white-tailed spider.
Terry Pareja, a father of two, was visiting his family in the Victorian country town of Birchip, 300km northwest of Melbourne when he was bitten by the spider on his right leg.
Pareja was not aware that he had been bitten until his leg began to swell and he developed a limp 24 hours after the incident.
After seeing a doctor, Pareja was rushed to hospital where his leg was amputated immediately – but the flesh-eating bacteria had already progressed.
He was then airlifted to a Melbourne hospital where his left leg was amputated.
Raquel Ogleby, Pareja’s sister, said it could be between 12 and 18 months before her brother could return home.
“Last week, we met with doctors and they said he will need time and rehab as well and the whole process could take that long,” Ogleby told Fairfax Media today.
“He has been in hospital for 34 days, but he is slowly getting better. We will be looking to move house because he will need a bigger space to move.”
Jeffmarey Pareja, Terry’s daughter, started a crowdfunding page to raise money to pay for her father’s medical bills.
“My dad went to Australia to visit my aunts and uncle for they have not seen each other for the longest time,” she wrote on the page.
“Now my dad is in intensive care unit having two of his kidneys not working and is aided by kidney support.
“Doctors also discovered that the necrotising fasciitis (flesh eating bacteria) is still there and suggested that they would also amputate… both arms.”