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A man who was “one day from death” after a spider bite, believed to be a false widow, is warning Brits not to mess with eight-legged creepy crawlies.
Christopher Tapp had been clearing out containers at work when he noticed he had a small bite on his right leg but thought nothing of it until the wound started swelling.
The 24-year-old was left in agony after an enormous lump developed on his shin which sent stabbing pains coursing through his muscles.
He visited doctors who told him to take antihistamines – but the bite continued to worsen.
Mr Tapp had to be rushed to hospital on Christmas day and within two hours he was having an emergency surgery.
The carpenter now has a inch long scar on his legs and a warning to Brits over dangerous bugs.
Doctors told him if would have left it any later he would have died from blood poisoning just a day later.
The now-arachnophobe is warning Brits to be vigilant and get checked if they are bitten by creepy crawlies.
Mr Tapp, from Tonbridge in Kent, said: "I would say don't judge a book by its cover, in a sense.
"It's mainly the little spiders who are the worst. They're the most dangerous.
"To be honest people need to be more clued up on it but in this day and age people don't believe stuff they are told by the media.
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"It's very hard to get something out there when you haven't experienced something like that yourself.
"In Australia it's understandable to believe, but in the UK people are very tedious about it and don't want to believe it.
"At least if people have more of an understanding that there are some form of venomous spiders or that there can be some bacteria on them [it would help].
"It doesn't necessarily have to be venom that spiders carry. They could have some form of bacteria on their fangs.
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"It just takes that initial bite and that's it. It goes from there. You might have nothing happen, you might be like me. You can't chance it."
Although Mr Tapp never spotted the insect that bit him, he claims doctors tested the tissue they removed from his body and confirmed it had been a spider bite.
Mr Tapp said: "I didn't even feel it. We were just clearing out the containers ready for a fresh start in the new year, and then I noticed a little bite on my leg. I didn't think anything of it.
"A week and a half, two weeks later I noticed it was getting bigger and bigger. Come to Christmas day it felt like it had its own heartbeat. It was really painful.
"I did go to the doctor's before and he was like, take some antihistamines and hopefully it will go down. It never went down.
"Obviously it got worse and Christmas day became very painful. That's when I went to hospital.
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"I walked in there and showed the nurse and she went and got a doctor. He was like, 'we need to get you into surgery now'. I got put into surgery within the space of two hours.
"They took it all out basically. He said if I had come in on Boxing Day, I wouldn't have come in because I probably would have died of blood poisoning.
"It was scary because if I had left it for another day I probably wouldn't have been here. We tend to say, 'I'll be alright' but obviously not.
"They had to cut the shape out and scrape out all the liquid. They filled it with gauze. It was pretty disgusting, it wasn't a nice experience.
"I didn't see the spider, didn't feel it, nothing. The doctor said it looks like a spider bite and we're going to send off the tissue we pulled out of your leg for testing.
"He said it came back confirmed as a spider bite. Whether or not it's a false black widow I don't know, but I can't think of any other spider that can inflict something like that."
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