Spider bite led to leg being amputated, woman says

Story highlights

  • Brown recluse spiders are common throughout the central and Midwestern United States
  • Experts say the bites typically heal after being cleaned and monitored by a doctor

(CNN)A mother of three in West Memphis, Arkansas, says a spider bite ended up costing her a leg.

"I was seeing my little cousins off to prom and their dad was like, 'Why are you limping? What's going on?' " Kiara Boulton told CNN affiliate WREG. "So I showed him my foot and said 'I think I got bit by a spider.' And he's like, 'Well what kind do you think it is?' And I said, 'a brown recluse.' "
A diabetic since she was 10 years old, Boulton went to the emergency room at St. Francis Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, where she was instructed to visit her primary care physician who prescribed her medication for the bite, she told WREG.
    Boulton told WREG that her toe became black three days after the bite. She returned to the hospital and was told it had to be amputated, one of seven surgeries Boulton said are a result of the spider bite.
    The hospital was unable to speak directly about Boulton's case.
    "Saint Francis-Memphis is committed to the health and well-being of our community," the hospital said in a statement. "While we are unable to comment on a particular patient's case due to privacy laws, after a hospitalization or emergency room visit, it is vitally important for patients to follow their discharge instructions, take prescribed medications and attend all follow-up care appointments as part of their journey to recovery."
    To help her get through the ordeal, Boulton told WREG, she said to herself "three kids, Kiara. Three.
    "God wouldn't have let you have them if you weren't supposed to be here for them. Fight through this. Fight through the pain."

    Treating and preventing spider bites

    Brown recluse spiders are commonly found throughout the central and midwestern United States, said Neelendra Joshi, an assistant professor in the University of Arkansas Department of Entomology.
    A bite from a brown recluse spider can be fatal in rare instances, but the spiders are typically not as aggressive as other species, Joshi said. But they will bite when they're trapped against our skin, he said.