A British teenager died suddenly after he said he’d been bitten by a spider – just weeks after complaints were made about an infestation in his building.
As reported by The Sun, Harry Bolton, 19, was found dead by his housemates with a gaping wound the size of a £1 coin on his back.
Just days earlier, the promising second-year university student – who lived in Hull in England’s north – had told a friend he was feeling unwell after being bitten by a spider, and went to the local hospital’s emergency ward.
And weeks prior, others in the University of Hull’s student accommodation complex had complained to their landlord of a spider infestation.
An inquest heard how on October 7 last year, Mr Bolton’s housemate realised he hadn’t responded to a text message.
When he arrived home from work that night, he and another housemate knocked on Mr Bolton’s door.
The pair got no response, so phoned site security and they came down and broke his door in.
The light was on and they found Mr Bolton laying on his back on his bed.
His eyes and mouth were open and he was cold to touch – and they realised his chest was not moving.
The group frantically phoned emergency services, who raced to the share house on Chancellor’s Walk, Hull.
When paramedics arrived they confirmed Mr Bolton was not breathing, had no heartbeat and declared him dead at the scene.
But, while checking him over they noticed the gaping wound on his back, which appeared to be infected.
The hearing heard how just four days earlier, Mr Bolton had told a friend a spider had bitten him on his back, and he was not feeling well.
His friend suggested he go to emergency, so he walked into the Hull Royal Infirmary that night with a high temperature and a high heart rate.
A blood sample was taken and nothing of high risk was detected – although another blood test indicated there was inflammation.
But Ben Reyer, an emergency consultant at the hospital, said this was not something that would be flagged up by the labs as a matter of immediate risk.
In the early hours of the next morning, Mr Bolton discharged himself and hospital staff said they had no reason to believe the teen did not have the capacity to do so.
Just hours later was the last time Mr Bolton was seen by his housemates.
One of which, Kacper-Krysztof Zydron, told the hearing how he had experienced a similar spider bite just two months prior.
He said the bite, which was on his neck, first started off “hurting a bit”, but over a few days it was so bad that he could not move his neck.
Mr Zydron said he went to hospital and was told to take some paracetamol, which did not work.
He then talked to his parents and they helped him remove the pus from the wound, before he phoned his GP and asked for antibiotics to heal it and clear the infection.
The housemate then emailed Ashcourt Student Housing about a problem with spiders and sent a follow-up photo of one.
It was found to be a common house spider and the inquest heard an inspection by the maintenance team found no infestation.
A clause in the tenancy agreement also stated that low-level pest intrusions were the responsibility of tenants.
After Mr Bolton’s death, pest control was called for the peace of mind of the tenants and a survey was carried out. Sticky traps were also laid out. It revealed that there was a normal number of insects in the house given the time of the year.
Coroner Paul Marks determined that Mr Bolton’s death was caused by sepsis, due to an acute chest infection, the result of an infected wound on his back.
“Had he not been bitten by an invertebrate, possibly a spider, he would not have died at that time,” he said.
“It is an incredibly unfortunate case. He had a promising future ahead of him.”
This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission