DENVER (KDVR) — Ask Wendy Brewer-Thomas about her husband Ronnie Thomas, and she will tell you he’s a reliable man, husband and father.
“He is the sole provider of this whole house,” Brewer-Thomas said.
Thomas only misses work when he needs to take care of her, she said. And she had a planned medical procedure coming up.
“We were mentally preparing for that,” Brewer-Thomas said, “so I thought maybe he was just stressed out and getting sick because he was worrying about me, like he always does.”
‘I thought he was just catching a cold’
Thomas was feeling ill and he was getting worse.
“I woke up in the middle of the night because he was coughing,” Brewer-Thomas said. “But again, I thought he was just catching a cold.”
Thomas had pain in his hand and applied some medical cream to feel better — the only hint something was wrong. Then she found a black widow spider in her Denver home.
“I panicked,” Brewer-Thomas said, “and I threw it down and I killed it.”
Days later, she found another on her husband as he slept.
“There was one on his side of the bed that was crawling up on his hand, and I smacked it down to kill it. It was in our bed,” Brewer-Thomas said.
After a couple of days, the family took Thomas to the hospital, where doctors found more issues related to a possible venomous spider sting. Thomas was placed on a ventilator and spent days in an intensive care unit.
“On his brain scan, they’ve seen how he’s had strokes since he’s been under,” Brewer-Thomas said.
Thomas suffered two strokes, his wife said. The family’s reliable Ronnie had been taken down by the venom of a spider.
“Just to see him in this state over a spider bite, I’m trying to grasp it mentally, but I can’t,” she said.
Brewer-Thomas has a message to folks who might be bitten by a black widow spider: Get help immediately before it’s too late.
“Know the signs,” she said. “When your body is telling you something, know the signs.”
When Thomas is discharged from the hospital, he’ll need rehabilitation to fully recover.