20-Year-Old Ohio Man Expected to Recover After Being Stung 20,000 Times by Bees, Family Says

An Ohio man is expected to recover after being stung approximately 20,000 times by bees and ingesting about 30 of them while cutting tree branches last week, his family said.

The incident occurred when Austin Bellamy, 20, climbed a tree Friday morning to help a friend trim its branches before he accidentally cut into a nest full of African killer bees, his mother Shawna Carter wrote on a GoFundMe page established to help with his medical expenses.

Research from the United States Department of Agriculture shows that Africanized honey bees “are more defensive, stinging more with less provocation than other honey bees.”

According to WCPO-TV, Carter said the Ripley Fire Department told her the bees were killer bees. Per the outlet, a Southwest Ohio Beekeepers Association spokesperson said a bee sample would need to be analyzed to identify the species.

Fox affiliate WXIX-TV reports that his grandmother Phyllis Edwards and his uncle Dustin Edwards witnessed the incident.

“I was going to try and climb the ladder to get to Austin… but I couldn’t get to him because I was surrounded in bees,” Phyllis told the outlet.

“He tried to anchor himself down, and he couldn’t,” she added. “He was hollering, ‘Help! Help me! Help!’ And nobody would help him.”

A firefighter from Ripley Fire Department named Craig was able to rescue Bellamy before he was rushed to the hospital for treatment, according to the outlet.

On Wednesday night, Bellamy woke from a medically-induced coma at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, per WXIX-TV and WCPO-TV.

It is expected that Bellamy will make a full recovery, according to the outlets. PEOPLE has reached out to Bellamy’s family for comment.

Recalling the moment when she received the news about her son, Carter said she passed out, telling WXIX-TV, “It was just too much for me to take.”

“It looked like he had a black blanket on his head down to his neck, down to his arms,” she explained, adding that “he had bees inside of him, and they suctioned bees out of him until Sunday morning.”

She also expressed her gratitude to the firefighter who helped her son. “When I think of Craig, Craig is a lifesaver,” she said. “He’s Austin’s angel.”

According to WCPO-TV, Bellamy remains in the hospital. Carter told the outlet that Bellamy endured kidney failure. “He ingested about 30 bees,” she said.

 

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