Ohio man stung by bees 20,000 times and still survives

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(NewsNation) — An Ohio man survived after being covered in thousands of bees, getting stung for nearly half an hour.

Austin Bellamy had all the tools necessary to help do some cutting on a massive tree in a family friend’s front yard.

There was a chain saw and safety harness, but the 20-year-old had no idea what he also desperately needed: a safety suit to ward off a massive swarm of bees.

Ripley Fire Chief Tony Pfeffer says Austin Bellamy was harnessed up in the tree doing some cutting when he accidentally sawed into a beehive.

“It looked like a black cloud from the top of his head to the bottom of his feet, with bees. and when I say there were thousands and thousands of bees, there were thousands and thousands of bees,” Pfeffer said.

Bellamy was airlifted to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center and put on a ventilator. His mother reported doctors were still using suction to remove bees from inside her son’s body a full day later.

Dr. Kara Wada says bee stings can trigger a range of problems, from run-of-the-mill to a full-on anaphylactic reaction.

Bellamy, being stung that many times, potentially faced cardiac arrest.

Pfeffer says his team used its aerial ladder to cut Ripley out of his harness. He and his crew even got stung themselves through their protective suits.

Austin’s grandmother was stung some 200 times as she tried to save him.

”I’m thinking if this guy makes it, he’s going to be really, really lucky. And as God would have it, they say he’s going to make full recovery,” Pfeffer said.

With a Africanized hybrid moving north, bee experts worry more stories like Bellamy’s are coming.

Wada says to be conscientious of where bees live, don’t swat at them and don’t hesitate to call 911 if you should feel at all strange after being stung.

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