A grieving mother is sharing photos of the spider bite that took her son’s life in an effort to warn other parents about the dangers of brown recluse spiders.
Branson Riley Carlisle was just 5 years old when a brown recluse spider bite took his life the Sunday before Thanksgiving. His grieving mother, Jessica Carlisle, has now released photos of the boy’s bite to send a warning to parents.
The first photo, taken just 15 minutes after he was initially bit by the spider, shows swelling and redness around the brown recluse bite. An hour later, Jessica took another picture of her son’s bite, and that pictures shows the swelling and redness is much worse. Nine hours after being bitten, Jessica took another picture from the hospital of a painful rash that developed on his body as a result of the bite. Five hours after that, little Branson was gone.
“He said something had stung him,” Jessica explained, according to the Daily Mail. “It was a brand new pajama top, and this spider was in his shirt. I saw a welt on his back.”
Jessica says that she herself has been bitten by a brown recluse and already knew the seriousness of the bite, so she immediately rushed her son to a hospital where doctors worked to save the young boy’s life.
“They took it very seriously,” said Jessica of the doctors. “They started him on antibiotics, steroids and Tylenol. His vitals were all normal. He was laughing and playing and being a 5-year-old boy. The doctor said he was going to send him to Children's of Huntsville or Birmingham, whichever one was quicker, but he didn't seem to think it was going to get worse. It was just in case anything happened, he would have the best care.”
The Alabama boy was transferred by ambulance to Huntsville Hospital for Women & Children, and there, his bite seemed to get worse, so he was transferred once more to Children’s of Huntsville. While there, his condition quickly deteriorated.
“He was talking in the elevator on the way to ICU, arguing with the doctor. The doctor wanted him to open his mouth, and he said, 'No, I don't want to.' Just being a 5-year-old,” Jessica described of his transfer to the intensive care unit. “Doors started flying open, and people started coming running from everywhere. I've never seen so many doctors in one room. The nurse came out in the hallway and sat down. They told me his heart had stopped. They shocked him.
“I was in the room when they shocked him for the 17th time, and I knew there was nothing else in this world that they could do for him. I told them it was time to stop.”
Tragically, Branson died, and Jessica was forced to bury her son on Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. She hopes that by sharing photos of the bite, she can help other parents know what to look for if that ever happens to their child.