I’m Living Proof that amazing recoveries happen in the ICU at Desert Springs Hospital.
— Jeff Pelton
Jeff Pelton was helping a friend set up fireworks last July, when he felt something jump from his arm to his forehead. He tried to slap it off, and about a half hour later his face began to swell.
He went to a nearby ER and was prescribed antibiotics. “They said it looked like a boil,” he remembers. A couple of days later, the swelling had continued. “It was huge,” Jeff says. “It looked like a golf ball under my skin between my eyes.” He went back to the same hospital for treatment, then another. Despite being prescribed more antibiotics, he didn’t feel well. He was shaking, sweating and having trouble breathing.
In September, he caught a common cold and within three days was really sick. This time, he went to Desert Springs Hospital Medical Center. Doctors there quickly determined that Jeff had been bitten by a venomous brown recluse spider in July. A CT scan revealed that venom from the bite was going into his nose and sinuses. “They said my organs were shutting down,” Jeff says. Given the severity of his condition, doctors induced a coma to give his brain a chance to rest and heal. It was uncertain if he would survive.
Jeff spent 13 days in a coma in the ICU, before waking up and spending another 10 days recovering. “They were all awesome,” Jeff says of his nurses and care providers at Desert Springs Hospital. “When I needed anything, they were there.”
Jeff is grateful to his family, his girlfriend who hardly left his side, and to everyone who did not give up hope for his recovery. “Without my friends, family and Desert Springs Hospital, I don’t know if I would have survived,” he says.
“It is without question that Jeff would not be with us today without all that you did for him … miracles happen in your ICU department because of what you do and who you are.”
— Jeff’s Family
Brown recluse spiders are between 1 and 1-1/2 inches long, with a dark brown, violin-shaped mark on their upper body and light brown legs. Their bite is poisonous and can cause symptoms such as chills, itching, general discomfort, fever, nausea, a reddish or purplish color in a circle around the bite, sweating and a large sore in the area of the bite. If you or someone you’re with is bitten, call 9-1-1 or poison control.