Poisonous spider kills father-of-five in Cork

Bitten while watching a movie at home he died an excruciating death after presumed red-back bite.

A father-of-five has died after being bitten by a spider while he was watching a movie at his home in Cork.

John Francis Kennedy (48), nicknamed JFK, was bitten on the neck and died from massive internal bleeding. It is believed he was bitten by a “poisonous red-back.” Before dying he suffered stomach swelling, organ failure and eyesight failure.

The spider is native to Australia and is closely related to the black widow spider of the United States. The deadly spider has been sighted in the United Kingdom recently, found in imported goods. However, there have been no confirmed sightings of the spider in Ireland up to this point.

Jeanne, who was married to Kennedy for 21 years, told the Irish Sun, “He got bitten. We found a spider with a weird red back.

"But the bite he got had bled very badly. We went through a roll and a half of toilet roll to try and stop it. Ever since his health went down.

"His stomach started swelling; they said it was his liver and his pancreas. His testicles also swelled up very bad."

Kennedy was rushed to hospital on July 17. He had vomited blood and briefly lost his eyesight.

Jeanne added, “I think he knew he was dying.

"He had a headache, his eyesight went. He went up to bed and his eyesight came back.

"He asked for a bucket and vomited up blood.

"He was a stubborn man and he said he would be grand in the morning.

"It didn't pass. At midnight he said call the ambulance. The paramedics told me it wasn't looking good."

Kennedy died in the hospital the next day.

An inquest into his death is planned.

Jeanne said, “We need answers as to how John died. It had to be down to that sting.

“He was in perfect health before the bite happened. We were married 21 years.

“It is like a piece of me is gone. He was my one and only true love."

Here’s a National Geographic clip on the spider: