Branson Riley Carlisle, a five-year-old boy from Albertville in Alabama, died just a few hours after he was bitten by a brown recluse spider. Branson was bitten by the deadly spider on Sunday morning, and even though his parents rushed him to the hospital, the five-year-old died just a few hours later. As reported by the Associated Press on Nov. 26, five-year-old Branson Riley Carlisle is leaving behind a grieving mom, dad, grandparents, aunts and uncles.
According to the Alabama boy’s pastor, Jeff Stanford, Branson was bitten by the poisonous spider on Sunday morning. The boy’s parents immediately rushed their son to the hospital but his condition continued to worsen, and he died just a few hours later.
The brown recluse spider was also taken to the hospital by the parents for identification. Most often, knowing what exact kind of spider inflicted a bite helps doctors to administer the most effective treatment. In Branson’s case, however, no treatment was successful.
WHNT reports from Albertville in Alabama that Branson’s parents were aware of unwanted creatures in their house and that they had pest control come to the house once a month. They were told by pest controllers that because of the cold weather, spiders had come inside.
While there is no information provided as to Branson’s symptoms after the spider bite or as to what specifically caused his death, brownreclusespider.org describes the symptoms after a bite by a brown recluse spider as swelling around the bite area, redness, fever, shivering, nausea, and vomiting.
Depending on the age of the spider’s victim, the injury can grow into an ulcer with a dry bottom with blue or gray borders. “It measures between 1 1/2 to 2 3/4 inches. It causes pain and is generally deep. Healing takes months and leaves scars on the surface of the skin.”
As in five-year-old Branson Riley Carlisle’s case, age was an important factor. Besides age, other crucial factors that can contribute to a spider bite turning deadly include a victim’s age, weight, overall health, and where someone was bit.
Brown recluse spiders are native to the USA. While they are commonly found in Oklahoma, Arkansas and Missouri, it is important to know that they can easily travel inside boxes and packaging. Once the spiders are in a home, they prefer dark spots in garages, cellars, and closets inside a house. The spider, which is usually nocturnal, shy, lonely, and sedentary, prefers undisturbed places like stored clothes, old books, boxes, furniture, toys, carpets, coatings, corners and cracks.
“The bite, in general, is the result of pressing the spider with the skin during the night when the person sleeps (38%), or when people get dressed (32%) with clothes that were hung on walls or closets for a long time. Normally, the bite can be found on the face and the extremities.”
Branson Riley Carlisle’s death after being bit in Alabama by a brown recluse spider is any parent’s worst nightmare. Unfortunately, as of now, very few specific details have been publicized about the circumstances surrounding the five-year-old boy’s death. There is no antidote available for the brown recluse spider and some time ago, doctors would extract the necrotic tissue in their course of treatment. According to Dr. B. Gilmore, however, “that extraction can delay the treatment.”
In an updated report on Nov. 28, Alabama.com describes the details that were previously missing about Branson. Apparently, after being bitten on the shoulder blade by the brown recluse spider, the five-year-old boy complained but didn’t seem to be bothered by it. He ran around playing, ate his breakfast, and was feeling fine, says his mom, 23-year-old Jessica Carlisle.
By 9:15 a.m. on Sunday morning, Branson’s “descent into death began.”
“He said something had stung him,” Jessica said. “It was a brand new pajama top and this spider was in his shirt. I saw a welt on his back.”
By around 11 a.m., Branson, who had initially a fever of 99 or 100, was referred to the Marshall Medical Centers South in Boaz. “They took it very seriously [at Marshall],” recalls his mom. “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.”
When Branson’s dark black, blue, and red spider bite marks (it looked like he had been hit by a baseball), worsened, doctors at Marshall sent the family to Huntsville Hospital for Women & Children where specialists could take care of the boy. Branson’s doctor “didn’t seem to think it was going to get worse. It was just just in case anything happened, he would have the best care.”
At Huntsville, Branson’s head and stomach started hurting, but even on the way up to the ICU, the five-year-old boy was still interacting with the doctor in the elevator, giving him a hard time. “The doctor wanted him to open his mouth and he said, ‘No, I don’t want to.’ Just being a 5-year-old,” says his mom who could not comprehend what happened next:
“As Jessica waited outside ICU, she soon heard loud voices. They were yelling for O-negative blood, she said. ‘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,’ remembers Branson Riley Carlisle’s mom. “They told me his heart had stopped.” It was 11:30 p.m.
Doctors told Branson’s mom that they tried everything to make his blood clot since Branson’s organs were bleeding. After the five-year-old boy’s heart stopped, doctors tried to revive him, but the desperate attempt to save the little boy was in vain. “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.”