Medical professionals are stating that it was an ‘unusual death’; a fit Michigan woman, age 58, ended up dying after being bitten by a brown recluse spider. Betty Ann Strickland arrived at her home at the end of June after working the afternoon shift at her nursing job, stated Charles, her husband. They resided in Tustin, Michigan, a countryside area located to the east of the Manistee National Forest near U.S. Highway 131 in the state.
Everything seemed normal except for one thing, Betty Ann had a bug bite on the top of her right foot. Charles stated that they did live in a rural area so it was not unusual at the time. He explained that he examined the bite but it did not look strange at the time. It was not excessively swollen and it did not have a lot of redness.
However two days later, Strickland realized something was very wrong with both the bite and his spouse. He asked Betty Ann to go see a doctor, but since she was a nurse and going to the doctor just was not something she did. She said that she would be alright, that she just needed to rest for a few days. Yet by Thursday, her condition was even worse and Charles demanded she go to the doctor.
He stated that he was helping Betty Ann down the stairs and she kept telling him how bad her foot was hurting. By that time, she had a huge bump about the size of a marble extending out of where she had been bitten. She started having trouble breathing, so he rang up his daughter, who resided in the next town. He then proceeded to call emergency services.
Charles explained that as he was speaking with the female dispatcher, he was also talking to Betty Ann, attempting to find out what was going on with her. She was unable to talk, her eyes staring straight ahead and she could not breathe. Strickland said almost as soon as his daughter showed up, that was when Betty Ann quit breathing.
They performed CPR on her for around 40 minutes until the ambulance arrived, Charles declared, and then paramedics took over. They worked on Betty Ann for nearly another 30 minutes, and then they stated that Mrs. Strickland had passed away.
It was next that the medical examiner came to the scene. He took photographs of the bite on Betty Ann’s foot and checked with experts. Within a matter of minutes, he received a response and they informed him that the bite belonged to a brown recluse spider bite. It was also explained that the spider bite was unusual.
When individuals are bitten by spiders, it usually happens in muscles or in fatty tissue, however Mrs. Strickland’s bite ended up infecting a blood vessel. Toxins began circulating all through her blood stream and all her organs became diseased. In fact her entire body basically shut down, and that is what ended up killing her.
The University of Michigan stated that brown recluse spiders are found usually in the southern and central parts of the United States and prefer to live in dry, hot wild areas, such as rock or wood piles. The spiders are around 0.5 inches in length with a murky violin shaped mark on both the head and middle section of their bodies.
Brown recluse bite symptoms include mild to intense pain, itching, reddened skin and a blister that forms on the bite site stated the university. After about seven days or so following the bite, an open sore will form and there will be tissue breakdown which may end up taking months to heal. Some individuals end up having even more serious symptoms, such as chills, fever, nausea, vomiting, a skin rash and even possibly joint pain. The course of treatment hinges on on how stark the bite happens to be. Possibilities range from only a cold icepack to having to use pain medication or even antibiotics.
Nature specialists stated that the brown recluse spider is not native to Michigan. Therefore medical professionals stated that it was an ‘unusual death’ when Betty Ann Strickland ended up dying after being bitten by one of the spiders.
By Kimberly Ruble