Paula's Deadly Spider Bite
By Gorman Woodfin
The 700 Club
“But I had extreme pains in my leg and in the open wounds. The open wounds were absolutely unbearable," recounts Paula Murph of McBee, South Carolina.
The elementary school teacher’s pain came after she was bitten by one of the deadliest spiders in the United States and she didn’t even realize it.
“It was an October day, warm weather. We were on the playground,” recalls Paula. "I was sitting at the table and noticed there was an ant bed. They had already gotten on my feet, so I had shrugged them off and after recess went back in the classroom and noticed that one area bothered me more."
She thought it was just an ant bite, until it got worse.
“With the red ant bite it’s a sting and then it can itch—it itches. This was a sting and then a throb. And it got worse and worse and worse,” Paula said.
After several days she went to the doctor, who determined it wasn’t a bite from a red ant, but from the deadly brown recluse spider.
Her doctor started her on antibiotics, but the wound kept getting worse.
The brown recluse spider is one of two spiders in the U.S. capable of killing a person. The other is the female black widow. When treated immediately with antibiotics, most have no problems. But Paula had waited, and the venom was killing her soft tissue and spreading through her body. Her doctor sent her to a surgeon.
Paula remembers, “They go in and they put you in the operating room. They cut away the deteriorating skin.”
She went through months of antiobiotics and treatments where doctors performed skin graphs over the wound site.it seemed as if Paula was getting better.
“I had a good period of time there about 6 months but then when it hit, it hit with a vengeance.”
A latent infection attacked her body. It damaged her heart and ultimately she had her aortic valve replaced. But then her organs began to shut down. And she was put in an induced coma. Her family doctor closely monitored Paula’s case.
Paula’s family doctor, T. James Bell, Jr. says, “She went into multi organ failure, heart failure, lung failure, kidney failure, and several times the family was called in thinking that she wouldn’t make it through.”
But all through the ordeal, Paula’s family spread the word for people to pray.
People all over the world joined her family and friends in prayer. Her sister, Carolyn, sent out specifics prayer requests.
Carolyn recalls, “I would pray and send out the prayer requests on a specific need and then I’d go back the next day to visit her and it would be met. So really, the needs were met daily.”
Paula says, “The prayers really started flying. And there was a lot of them going on in my room. They were allowing people to come in and see me and prayers going for me and people touching me and loving me and praying for me.”
Her sister called the 700 club for help.
Carolyn says, “I remember calling the CBN prayer line. And a counselor was so gracious and she prayed with me. She prayed for my sister and her needs and it meant a lot to me that day."
Then one night the family was called in to pay their last respects, but to everyone’s amazement Paula pulled through.
Carolyn says, “When I went back the next day, first thing the nurse said to me was, ‘I believe Mrs. Murph is only here today because of prayer.’ And I said, “Absolutely right.”
“I woke up the next morning and my sister was there, my husband was there, my son was there and my daughter had gotten in,” recalls Paula. “And I just knew it. I said this has been a ride, but hey, I’m not hurting. Something’s going on.”
Dr. Bell says, “You don’t see that very often when somebody’s that close to dying and comes back around. It was just truly a miracle, I think.”
Paula’s son, Lee recalls, “It was like miraculous turnaround in a span of maybe 18 hours, Mom had taken a complete turn for the better. And that’s when I got a taste of how powerful prayer was.”
Today, Paula loves spending time with her family and telling others how god healed her.
Paula says, “God is in the miracle business still. No matter how big, no matter how small. And I learned how to be still and know that He is God.”
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