‘As Lucky as They Get:’ Boy Survives Spider Bite With Record Dose of Antivenom


SYDNEY, NSW – JANUARY 23: A Funnel Web spider is pictured at the Australian Reptile Park January 23, 2006 in Sydney, Australia. The Funnel Web is one of Australia’s deadliest animals, with a venom that is packed with at least 40 different toxic proteins. A bite from a Funnel Web causes massive electrical over-load in […]

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NEW SOUTH WALES, Australia  —  A 10-year-old boy in Australia survived a bite from one of the world’s deadliest spiders thanks to a quick-thinking dad and a record-breaking amount of antivenom.

Matthew Mitchell was working with his father in a shed at their home around 60 miles north of Sydney when he was bitten by a funnel-web spider lurking in a shoe, the Australian Associated Press reports.

His father used a t-shirt as a tourniquet and rushed the boy to the nearest medical facility as he started having seizures. He was given 12 vials of antivenom, which Australian Reptile Park GM Tim Faulkner says is an “incredible” amount.

Faulkner told The Daily Telegraph the boy was ‘as lucky as they get.’

The bite would have easily killed an adult without antivenom, and the fact that Matthew was able to walk out of the hospital a day later with no effects “is a testament to the antivenom,” Faulkner says.

A normal dose is three to five vials, and the amount Matthew received is believed to be the biggest in Australian history, 9News reports. Faulkner says the boy will get the park’s “Spider-Man Award for Bravery.” As for the funnel-web spider, it was captured by Matthew’s father and is now at the reptile park, where it is being used by the park’s “milking” program to create more antivenom.


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