California may nearly loses leg after spider bite

(CBS) -- A possible spider bite has left a Southern California man battling a dangerous infection that nearly cost him his leg.

CBS Los Angeles reports that Todd Thomas, 49, has been in the hospital for eight weeks and has undergone 10 separate surgeries since June.

Thomas told CBS2's Michele Gile that it all started one night when he felt a pinch on his leg as he slept.

"Wasn't quite sure what it was at first," he says. "I got up. I was able to turn the light on. I looked around. I didn't see anything on the floor. But I thought maybe it might be a spider or something down there."

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Three days later, the leg began to swell and turn red. The skin was being eaten away.

As he headed to the emergency room, Thomas posted a picture on Facebook. "We'll see you soon," he wrote. "This is the last picture you will see before I know what will actually happen."

He ended up needing multiple surgeries, including skin grafts to replace dead tissue with new skin. He transferred to UC Irvine Medical Center last month.

Doctors told him he was lucky he didn't wait any longer to seek medical help. "They said if I had gone another day, at all, I would have either lost my leg, or I could have lost my life," Thomas told CBS Los Angeles.

Now, as his recovery continues, Thomas wants to warn others.

"If you do get bit, and you think you'd been bitten by a spider, or anything, instantly go to the doctor and have it checked out," he said.

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