Spiders are one of San Antonio’s most feared pests, and stories like the one I’m about to share don’t help in with their’ perception.
Jane Hefferan’s leg was twice bitten by a Brown Recluse spider as she slept. The law student was able to keep her leg after a four year long ordeal that consisted of 20 surgeries and several dozen blood transfusions. The result? A $1 Million hospital bill!
Four years ago, in the summer of 2008, Jane Hefferan had just finished law school at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. While studying for the bar exam, she began to notice a swelling in her knee. Busy with her studies, Hefferan thought nothing of her swollen red knee. She actually passed it off as a running injury that had been plaguing her for quite awhile. Her leg began to get worse and so Hefferan took the advice of her physical therapist to get immediate medical attention. It was a good thing she did because doctors determined she was bitten by the very poisonous Brown Recluse Spider.
Hefferan was quickly rushed into surgery where surgeons removed all the necrotic tissue destroyed by the spider’s venom. Doctors had to cut down to the bone, removing all the dead tissue. She then needed skin grafts to cover the wound, but they just wouldn’t heal. A third graft was given, but it wouldn’t adhere. The graft kept opening up and bleeding. Doctors discovered the poor woman had an autoimmune disorder which kept her leg from properly healing.
After the first bit slowly began to heal, doctors made another gruesome discovery. The woman’s other leg had also been bitten by a Brown Recluse. This bite was much worse. Most of the tissue surrounding Hefferan’s leg began deteriorating leaving the woman with nothing more than exposed bone. After 20 different surgeries, and several blood transfusions, doctors were able to save both of her legs.
The total medical expenses for Hefferan’s recovery equaled almost $1 million. About one month in to the ordeal, Hefferan’s student health insurance ran out. Because her injuries from the spider were considered a “pre-existing condition,” Hefferan was only recently able to qualify for government insurance. She is grateful to friends in her home state of Michigan who helped raise funds to help her out with her medical bills.
Jane Hefferan is now doing well, and has become an advocate for spider bite awareness. Brown Recluse spiders are common in the Southern United states, including much of Texas.
Spiders and their bites should not be treated carelessly, and that’s the message Jane Hefferan would like the public to know. Watch out for spiders when you are outdoors, take precautions to keep them out of your homes; and most importantly, get help if you even think you might have been bitten by a poisonous spider.
Make sure you read my article about identifying and treating spider bites here.
San Antonio Spider Control
This unfortunate story illustrates the importance and value of spider control. Pest control companies, like Bulwark Exterminating, have services geared to controlling spiders in your home and on your property. Bulwark’s one year service agreement, that treats your home every month, will cost around of $623 for the year. This price tag is significantly lower than a $1 Million price tag that could result from a spider bite. Don’t risk the pain of dealing with a spider bite, and don’t be stuck with a $1 Million hospital bill. Get San Antonio spider control!
118 Broadway Street
San Antonio, TX 78205
San Antonio Chimney & Wildlife Control
333 West Olmos Drive #123
San Antonio, TX 78212
Orkin Pest & Termite Control
4902 Center Park Boulevard
San Antonio, TX