A youngster started to be sick and hallucinated Disney Pixar characters as he was rushed to hospital after being bitten on the bum by a false widow spider hiding in his swimming trunks.
Bizarrely, Bear Styles, eight, from March, Cambridgeshire, was attacked by the arachnid 15 years after his mum Dawn, was also bitten on the backside by a spider.
The 50p-sized false widow was lurking insider Bear's swimming shorts that he put on before jumping in the family pool on July 21 and it sank its fangs into the crease of his right bum cheek.
After dad Vinny Styles shook out the lad's swim shorts, the eight-legged terror with "large fangs" plopped on the floor and scuttled away, but not before mum Dawn took a snap of it.
Apart from two tiny puncture wounds, at first Bear felt fine and jumped into the pool – but 40 minutes later he was extremely pale, felt sick and his temperature rocketed to 39.2C.
Phoning 111 they were told he needed to be looked at and during the car journey to Peterborough City Hospital, the bushcraft-loving boy started hallucinating, claiming he could see Disney Pixar characters looming in the trees.
At the hospital, concerned staff monitored Bear and carried out numerous tests, confirming he'd suffered a reaction to a noble false widow spider.
In a bizarre coincidence, the eight-legged terror bit the lad on the bum 15 years after a stowaway spider in 42-year-old mum Dawn's jeans bit her on the bottom.
A week on from his ordeal, doula Dawn is sharing Bear's story so people are vigilant and shake clothing left outside before wearing them – and to seek medical help if bitten.
Dawn said: "We've got a really big 18-foot pool in the garden, which we put up every year over the summer.
"The kids absolutely love it, they go in every day. My husband had just got in from work at around 7pm and they were getting ready to get in.
"As they go in every day, the kids leave their wet stuff slung over a chair in the garden or on the patio to dry. Bear went out and put his shorts on, obviously he didn't shake them or anything, and then he came in and said 'something's bit my bum'.
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"He quickly whipped them off and I called my husband over. He picked up the shorts, shook them and a spider dropped out. We were laughing about it and making light of it because weirdly I was bitten on my bum about 15 years ago by a spider in my jeans.
"I always tell him that story and I said 'oh that happened to me, it's ok don't worry'. My husband made sure he was ok, took his shorts and cleaned them out. I got a picture of the spider just in case and then he went into the pool."
Bear splashed around in the pool for half an hour with sales manager dad Vinny, 47, and siblings Forrest Styles, 19, Finlay Styles, 16, and 15-year-old Feather Styles before getting out.
When Bear got out he was extremely pale, complained he felt sick, hot and cold and his heart started racing.
Dawn said: "After he got out of the pool he went really white, his lips were pale and he said he felt sick.
"I sat with him on the sofa and he felt steaming hot but his hands and feet were really cold. We took his temperature and it was 39.2 degrees, he had chills and was shaking.
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"I called my husband over, we're both first aid trained, and he said we should ring 111. The lady on the phone said 'you need to get to hospital now' and told me to take my phone in case we needed an ambulance on the way. When she said that, I remember thinking 'oh my gosh'.
"It's a 35-minute journey to the hospital, and as I was driving him there he started hallucinating. He really likes Disney Pixar Cars and he was saying 'I can see Mater in the trees'. Every few breaths he'd take a really big breath like he couldn't quite catch his breath. I had to help in walk into the hospital.
"On the way to the hospital it was scary, but once we got there I felt reassured that I was in a good place. I knew that even if anything did happen I could just quickly flag someone and get him seen."
The pair arrived at hospital at 11pm where Bear started vomiting, he became drowsy, started suffering a thumping headache and his temperature remained high.
Dawn said: "I showed the doctor the photo of the spider and he consulted someone from the poisons department. The unusual thing was that this one didn't have the usual well-known skull marking that false widows do.
"The doctor said there were lots of different categories of false widows and this was a noble false widow. It wasn't a massive spider, including its legs it was about the size of a 50p piece, but it had bigger fangs than I would imagine a spider that size would have.
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"They checked the site of the bite, there were just two little puncture wounds, it was on the right where the buttocks meets the leg. There was no blister or tracking. It was almost like he didn't get that external reaction, it was all internal. They were shocked his reaction was caused by a spider bite."
Bear stayed in hospital overnight and was closely monitored, undergoing an ECG and blood tests before being discharged at 3.30pm the following day.
The doctor looking after Bear requested that they log his bite in their journal, so other professionals can learn from his experience.
Dawn said: "The doctor said he'd never seen a spider bite before and asked if he could document it in their medical journal so others can learn from it. Bear thought it was really cool."
Dawn said that Bear, who is autistic, was very tired after his ordeal and slept a whopping 13 hours when he returned home.
Dawn said: "He was really tired, still very pale when he came home. That night he slept for 13 hours and the following night he slept lots too, which has been really good for him.
"He's also autistic, which sometimes has an impact on illnesses. Autistic people tend to feel pain and experience illness in a different way to neurotypical people. Often they don't really feel certain pain in the same way and other things they can over-feel. He wasn't making a big deal [of his symptoms]. He's not a fussy kid, he just deals with it.
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"He's pretty much back to normal now. Every day he was a little bit brighter, the main thing was the tiredness – he was just wiped out."
Dawn is now urging families to be vigilant and thoroughly check any clothing left outside for beasties and bugs before wearing them.
She said: "It's made us all really think a bit more carefully [about checking clothing]. We inspect everything, even if it's been hanging on the line.
"What we don't want is to make people more scared of spiders and kill them – spiders are beautiful. Bear wants a tarantula as a pet, that's how much he loves spiders. We don't want people to think they have to kill every single spider that they see.
"Just be mindful of where they might be and shake things off – [if people come across them] take them outside rather than killing spiders. If someone is bitten, go and seek medical treatment."
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