Redback spider back kills 22-year-old Aussie man

By @vitthernandez on
Jayden Burleigh
Jayden Burleigh is the first case recorded in Australia of a fatal bite from the female redback spider since the antivenom was created in 1956. Facebook/Jayden Burleigh

Tragedy struck a Sydney family twice months apart. On, 22-year-old Jayden Burleigh died with an infection from a spider bite.

A redback spider bit Jayden while he was walking on the coast of New South Wales. Although he received treatment at Nambour Hospital in Queensland for severe abscess for four day, Jayden died two days after his release from the hospital.

But the exact cause of the young man’s death is not known, reports the Sydney Morning Herald. It would only be known after several weeks.

The Burleighs are still mourning the death of Jayden’s younger brother, 17-year-old Lachlan who died in a head-on crash with another vehicle near the Blue Mountains in August 2015. Jayden was the driver of the car that Lachan and two other friends were riding. He was recovering from minor injuries sustained from the accident – which also killed 21-year-old Luke Shanahan and 19-year-old Ben Sawyer – when Jayden was bitten by the spider.

Mike and Deborah Burleigh, parents of the brothers, say that their sons’ death “cannot be comprehended by the human heart.” But they add that Jayden’s “legacy will eternally live on as he continues his heavenly adventures together with Lachie.”

Jayden is the first case recorded in Australia of a fatal bite from the female redback spider since the antivenom was created in 1956, according to the Australian Museum. The museum said the spider, which belongs to the species Latrodectus hasselti, and from thee Family Theridiidae, is found worldwide and across Australia.

Redback Spider A male (top) redback spider climbs on the back of a female before mating at Taronga Zoo in Sydney February 11, 2005.  Reuters/Tim Wimborne TBW/JJ

It would live almost anywhere so long as there is sufficient food, sheltered web site and the place is warm enough for breeding. The redback spider often lives close to human habitation. It builds webs in dry, sheltered areas such as rocks, logs, shrubs, sheds, toilets and junk piles.