Diabetic woman dies of flesh-eating bacteria after spider bite

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A West Memphis woman who had her leg amputated after a spider bite has died.

In July, Kiara Boulton was in and out of the hospital, having eight surgeries, and even having her left leg amputated after she said she was bitten by a brown recluse spider.

”Three kids Kiara, three. God wouldn’t of let you have them if you weren’t supposed to be here for them,” Kiara told WREG in July.

Despite her struggles, she said she was determined. But her fight became too much to handle.

She ended up right back in the hospital after she started having muscle pains in her other leg, resulting in even more surgeries. She had to be resuscitated twice.

"I talked to her and I held her hand, I told her I loved her," said her mother, Annette Boulton, who was by her side just before she took her final breath.

"I accepted whatever God allowed. I had to accept it. I had to give him back his child."

Kiara's death certificate lists necrotizing fasciitis, a flesh-eating bacteria, as the cause of death.

Boulton is still trying to make sense of all of this. She knew Kiara had health problems — including diabetes — but says those health issues got worse after her spider bite.

"The spider bites serious enough to require surgery are extremely rare," infectious disease doctor Steve Threlkeld said.

Threlkeld said Kiara's death was unlikely to be caused by a spider bite but more likely caused by an infection, which is dangerous for diabetics.

"What's very common is a bad diabetic, having bad complications and requiring partial or complete amputations," he said.

That is why he said this could be an eye-opener for diabetics to be sure to do three things: Diet, exercise and take the medicine prescribed.

Threlkeld also wants people to know, you are unlikely able to get rid of brown recluse spiders completely.  So if you choose to spray, they will come back.

"They love dark 'recluse' places. They can't just reach up and bite somebody, they have to be squished."

Threlkeld said the vast majority of spider bites are not severe.

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