Man Nearly Loses His Legs After Mystery ‘Insect Bite’

A MAN was told he might need to have both legs amputated after suffering a mysterious ‘insect bite’ while on holiday in Spain.
Ron Harris, 74, was staying in a resort near Alicante with his wife Jacqueline, 70, when he noticed a deep wound halfway down the side of his leg below the knee.
When he returned to the UK, he immediately sought medical treatment from local doctors who were baffled as to the cause but suspected an insect bite. The wound was clearly infected, with symptoms subsequently spreading to Ron’s other leg and both feet. It got so bad that the skin was literally falling away.
The pain became so excruciating that Ron could barely walk or use the stairs and had a Stiltz home lift put in to help him access the upper level of his four-bedroom detached home in Gloucestershire. He also had to take 42 painkillers a day as well as bottles of morphine to help him deal with the pain.


Doctors eventually diagnosed the puzzling bite as a leg ulcer and tried everything including wrapping both legs in compression bandages before Ron’s condition got so bad, he ended up in a wheelchair.
“I was bitten by some sort of insect about three days before the end of our holiday,” said Ron. “I attempted to get it looked at in Spain but the queues in the Spanish hospital were so long I decided to wait until I returned to the UK.
“The doctors had no idea what it was and they tried wrapping me up in bandages but it just got worse. It spread to my other leg and my feet and was just awful.
“I couldn’t sleep at night and got a Stiltz lift put in as eventually I couldn’t even walk and became wheelchair-bound. We’ve lived in our house for 35 years so we had no intention of moving home, however bad my situation became. The lift meant we could stay put!
“It was only after about six weeks they the doctors diagnosed the bite as a leg ulcer. Apparently, all bites and stings that don’t heal within this time are treated as ulcers regardless of the underlying cause.”

Ron tried to soak his legs and feet in potassium permanganate – a
medication used for treating skin conditions that cause production of excess liquid. The pain was so severe though, he was forced to stop applying it. However, the former mechanical engineer was told by doctors if he did not continue with the treatment, there was a real potential risk of double amputation.
Ron said: “The potassium permanganate treatment was the worse pain I’ve ever experienced in my whole life and it brought tears to my eyes. I was on 42 painkillers a day and I was given a bottle of morphine to use freely to help me cope me with the pain.
“I had some really dark days, and when the doctors warned if I didn’t carry on with the potassium permanganate application I could lose both of my legs; it was frightening. I decided I would obviously rather keep my legs so I persevered with the potassium permanganate and eventually the condition began to improve.
“Over time, the pain disappeared and the area where the bite had been scabbed over. The skin healed and regrew. All in all, it has taken around a year for to me fully recover and I feel very lucky to have done so. I still have no idea what actually bit me though!”