Matlock man’s two-year recovery battle after being bitten by an ant

Geoff Stevens has now made a full recovery.
Geoff Stevens has now made a full recovery.

A Matlock man who was bitten by an ant at the town’s Christmas market more than two years ago has only just been given a clean bill of health.

Former Matlock mayor, Geoff Stevens, was helping to set-up the Victorian Christmas Market in 2014 when he stood on an ant’s nest by accident.

The 74-year-old had not realised what had happened and carried on throughout the weekend until a couple of days later when his leg was ‘really swelling up’ and he could not put his shoe on.

Mr Stevens went to the doctors and was given antibiotics which seemed to help but his leg began to flare up again the following May and he ended up in hospital.

“The doctors came up with what they thought it was and that was cellulitis - a very serious skin condition.

“I was given more antibiotics and I thought it had gone away but later on that year it flared up again and I was very, very poorly and I was put on specialist antibiotics.

“I had a temperature which was off the scale - 42 degree Celsius.”

It was later that blood tests found that Mr Stevens had high levels of formic acid - which had been injected into him by the ant when it had bitten him.

“I came to get my shoes on and I was really struggling,” Mr Stevens told the Mercury.

“My foot and leg were just so big.

“It was like a stabbing pain.”

The retired businessman was only given the official sign-off from doctors last month - two-and-a-half-years since the incident at Hall Leys Park in November 2014.

He said: “I did think ‘am I going to get through this?’

“It is not something you expect to happen.

“I never thought it was going to be quite that long for me to recover.

“It does seem rather strange.”

The former joint-owner of Geoff Stevens Mens and Ladieswear in Matlock, who used to run the store with his wife Jacquie, said that because he was not able to get out during the 2015 election it cost him his seat.

“It is amazing really how something like that can affect your life,” Mr Stevens said.

“If I see any ant’s nests I will quickly run away.

“It was an unfortunate incident.

“I am so very grateful to the NHS. I have got them to thank for helping me.”