‘They Are Relentless’: 81-Year Old Man Survives Hundreds of Bee Stings

News 9 - June 1, 2023 6:31 am

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An 81-year-old man credited good Samaritans for saving him after he was stung more than 200 times by a swarm of so-called “killer bees.”

Carl Amos said he was mowing his lawn in Maysville on Friday when the swarm descended on him.

“So the first thing I thought was, ‘You got to run,'” Amos recalled.

But Amos said he tripped while he was on his driveway, fell down, and broke a bone in his femur and hip area. He could not get back up as the bee swarm overwhelmed him.

“They were getting in my hair, my eyes, my ears,” Amos said. “I got to get those out because that’s too close to the brain.”

Amos said he blocked his ears with tissues and tried to blow the bees out of his nose. But they kept stinging him.

Amos then tried to stay as calm as possible. But he couldn’t get back up from his fall, so he started to crawl.

“I feel them going down my clothes and then coming up my pant legs,” Amos said.

Amos said after he was attacked by the swarm for about three hours, he thought he was not going to survive.

“I just said, ‘Dear Lord, I got to – if I’m going to make it, I need your help. I don’t think I can make it,'” Amos remembered.

Fortunately, a group of employees from Burford Corporation saw the attack and intervened. After Austin Albright saw Amos, Tim Brammer hopped the fence and rushed to him.

“He said, ‘I’m going to help you buddy’ or something like that,” Amos recalled. “I’m very grateful for him because had he not seen me, I wouldn’t be here today.”

Johnathan Tyler then called 911. Meanwhile, Cale Walker and Koby Peters also helped with the rescue.

Amos said he vaguely recalled firefighters spraying water on the swarm to stop the attack before he was rushed to Norman Regional Hospital.

Savannah Phillips, an emergency room doctor at Norman Regional, said the ER team gave the EMS crew a list of medicines to reduce Amos’ swelling and discomfort. After Amos arrived at the hospital, the staff teamed up and used tweezers to remove the stingers from throughout Amos’ body.

“In the emergency department, we work as a team anyway. So a lot of techs came together, some nurses came together, to get as many out as we could,” said Phillips, who had never seen a case like this.

Phillips recalled that Amos had stingers all over his swollen face. His family said more than 200 stingers were removed from his body.

Amos said although he was fading in and out of consciousness, he fought to stay awake.

“I have a strong belief in God. And when you’re in intense situations, you got to do whatever you have to do to hang on,” said Amos. “You got to develop grit as you get older.”

Amos was later transferred to Norman Regional Healthplex for surgery on his broken bone. Amos said his femur snapped a few inches below his hip socket.

Amos said the surgery went well and he began rehabilitation on Wednesday. He expected the rehab to last at least two weeks. He said the hospital staff will also monitor him for possible effects of the bee stings.

Meanwhile, Amos’s wife of nearly 60 years, Barbara, and their children had been visiting him at the hospital.

“I thought I was just lucky to be seeing anybody because I didn’t actually think maybe I might,” he said.

Amos said the bees came from a crack near the top of his chimney, so his family hired a professional to remove the hive. In the meantime, they put up a sign on their property warning people to stay away due to the bees.

Amos and his family said the swarm that attacked him was comprised of Africanized honey bees, colloquially known as “killer bees” due to their aggressive nature. According to Oklahoma State University, 43 counties in Oklahoma had confirmed populations of Africanized honey bees. 

Amos’ daughter, Heather, created a GoFundMe page to raise money to help cover Amos’ medical expenses and the removal of the hive. Click here to donate.

 

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