‘I Could Not Walk’: Musician Almost Lost Leg After Dangerous Spider Bite He Initially Ignored

[Not the spider described in the story] Photo by ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP via Getty Images

Dana Abizaid Contributor
Font Size:

An Atlanta musician nearly lost his leg and his life after he was bit by a brown recluse spider, the New York Post reported Thursday.

Music artist Gabe Lustman said he first noticed the bite around Aug. 18 but was able to perform at a gala the following day, according to the Post. Lustman told the outlet that he wasn’t sure when or where the poisonous spider bit him, and that he first thought it was “a mosquito bite or something.”

“I start scratching it and scratching it and then it starts turning colors,” the 30-year-old said in a phone interview. “I thought I bumped my leg because it kind of looked like a bulls-eye, it looked like a bruise.”

However, the bite’s condition progressively worsened, and eventually, he needed to go straight from a performance to the hospital, the Post reported.

“I waited until I could not walk anymore, I was hobbling,” Lustman told the outlet. “I couldn’t put any pressure on my leg.”

Lustman remained in the hospital for five days after doctors determined his leg was infected by a brown recluse spider bite, Fox5 Atlanta reported. (RELATED: FACT CHECK: Do These Images Show A Spider Whose Venom Will Kill A Human In 5 Minutes?)

“It was nasty, it didn’t look good,” Lustman told Fox5.

Doctors reportedly told the artist that if he sought medical help any later, he could have lost his leg and maybe his life.

“I mean, I’m not cutting my leg off,” Lustman defiantly told Fox5. “You’re not gonna’ get this leg.”

The brown recluse spider is most commonly found in the southern and midwestern regions of the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Georgia Poison Center’s Managing Director said that it receives 40 to 50 reports of suspected brown recluse bites a year, Fox 5 reported.

“I was really scared, man,” Lustman told the Post. “I’m very blessed and grateful I made it out with my leg.”