Anyone who’s ever been stung by a yellow jacket hornet knows it hurts — a lot. Still, the stings aren’t known to send the average non-allergic to the emergency room, but that’s just what’s happened to a Florida father, his son, and their dog. The trio was repeatedly stung and is currently receiving medical treatment, with the father, David Alvarez, in the intensive care unit.
A summer walk through the woods turned into an excerpt from a horror movie when Alvarez, his son Jordan,7, and their family dog, Shia, stepped on a hornet’s nest, WKMG in Orland reported. “Two people just came out of the woods, covered in bees, yelling for help. And they're saying they can't breathe. They have multiple, multiple stings,” a passerby told the 911 dispatcher, the NY Daily News reported.
In an extreme act of courage, Jordan led his father, who is allergic to hornet stings, out of the woods and onto the main road, the Daily News reported. It was here that thankfully an experienced beekeeper, Jim Kunze, was among those to have heard the pair’s cries for help. His quick thinking and expertise could have meant the difference between life and death for the father, son, and dog. "They will be lucky to survive this. They were attacked that viciously," Kunze told WKMG.
Donning his protective suit, Kunze put young Jordan in his car as he removed and killed the militant wasps until emergency medics arrived. "It was pretty bad. It was chicken pox times five, at least," said Kunze, explaining the vicious attack to WKMG. It is reported by the news affiliation that both Alvarez and his son received over 300 bee stings.
Jordan is doing well considering the severity of the attack. Unfortunately, his father remains in the intensive care unit. WKMG reported that he is heavily sedated after having developed pneumonia and a blood clot. Alvarez is also reported to be breathing with the assistance of a breathing tube. Shia, the family’s 4-year-old Shiba Inu is receiving medical treatment at a local veterinarian clinic. After the attack, she was found wandering around, swollen, with one eye shut, and her tongue hanging out. “If we would've waited another day, or few more hours, she would've died because he was having liver failure,” Maggie Ramia, Alverez’s aunt told WKMG in regards to the pooch’s condition.
In order to ensure that the hidden nest would no longer wreak havoc on unsuspecting walkers, Kunze and another beekeeper will make sure it’s completely removed before the end of the week.
Wasps and bees aren’t normally aggressive and only sting in self-defense, such as defending the nest that Alvarez and his son had accidentally stepped on. When an individual receives multiple bee stings, the high amount of venom can cause a toxic reaction, inducing symptoms such as nausea, headache, vertigo, fainting, convulsion, and fever. The USDA reported that the average person can safely tolerate 10 bee stings per pound of body weight. This would translate as to more than 1,100 stings in the average adult. Most deaths from multiple bee stings have been in the elderly or individuals with cardiopulmonary problems.