Ten-year-old boy bitten by a funnel-web spider required 12 vials of antivenom in order to survive.

Matthew Mitchell, from New South Wales Central Coast, was bitten on his finger by a spider hidden in a shoe while helping his dad in a shed at their home in Berkeley Vale on Monday night.

Matthew said he struggled to get the spider off as it bit down on his finger.

“It sort of clawed onto me and all the legs and everything crawled around my finger and I couldn’t get it off,” he told the Daily Telegraph.

Using a t-shirt to compress the bite, Mr Mitchell quickly rounded up his wife and Matthew’s 17-year-old sister, Natasha, into a car, and rushed him to Gosford Hospital.

Matthew’s symptoms intensified and he started sweating and frothing at the mouth as his eyes dilated. He then started having seizures.

Doctors gave him 12 vials of anti-venom before he stabilised.

Mr Mitchell had also collected the spider that bit Matthew, and it was taken to the Australian Reptile Park.

Park general manager Tim Faulkner said Matthew was lucky to be alive.

He told the newspaper that the boy would be awarded a “Spiderman Bravery Award” at the park once he is well enough to visit.

Mr Faulkner said male funnel-webs – which are five times more venomous than their female counterparts – are out in full force in February and March as it is the species’ breeding season.

Mr Mitchell said the family agreed to share Matthew’s remarkable near-death experience in an effort “to spread the message” about always checking shoes, gardening gloves and washing left out overnight for spiders before putting them on.

We wish Matthew a speedy recovery.

Share your comments below.

Image via Daily Telegraph

  • the father did the right thing in collecting the spider as well but it is not something that i would have thought of at the time.


  • Thank goodness his father acted so promptly.


  • This is so scary, but I’m glad the young boy is okay.


  • It must have been an absolutely terrifying experience for this family and for the poor boy. Wishing him a speedy recovery. Funnel webs are potent spiders.

    • We no longer leave our washing out overnight as we had unwanted visitors!


  • How terrifying for both him and his family! Wishing him a very speedy recovery.
    Love the award the reptile park want to give him


  • Being a spider-phobe I am not enjoying seeing this picture of the funnel web spider appear every time I log into MOM. But poor boy, thank God her survived. How frightening for him and his family. Thank goodness I live in Victoria


  • how terrifying!! i hope he gets well again soon


  • Oh my goodness, how frightening !! Hope Matthew recovers speedy and totally !
    I don’t know how many funnel web spiders we killed literally at our front door and some in our house !! I hold my heart when I realize how often this could have gone wrong.


  • I will have to remember to check the washing – never thought of that!


  • Just seen the young lad on TV …wishing him a speedy recovery.


  • I hope the bite has no lasting physical effect on Matthew. A warning to check shoes, gloves etc. and take them just inside the door – don’t leave them outside or in sheds if you can avoid it. I’m afraid that spider would have been doomed at our place.


  • speedy recovery to him, too scary for me? I hate spiders


  • Wishing Matthew all the best after such a shocking experience.


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