Man’s near-death terror as swarm of wasps attack him in Hull cemetery
Marc Gabriel was stung by a swarm of wasps while working in Hedon Road Cemetery
A Hull man has spoken of his near death experience in a Hull cemetery after being attacked by a swarm of wasps.
Marc Gabriel was left “swaying” before passing out after he was stung while cutting the grass in Hedon Road Cemetery.
The 39-year-old father-of-four was overcome with a “sense of impending doom” moments after running over a wasps nest while mowing the grass between two gravestones.
The accident forced a swarm of dozens of angry wasps to surge from the ground and sting him, causing a severe allergic reaction.
The council worker ended up in a collapsed heap on a stranger’s front doorstep after the attack, a reaction he had not had to bee and wasp stings in the past.
After realising he had been stung, Mr Gabriel, of Plane Street, felt a sharp pain is his neck and began to realise his life was in danger.
But as he went into anaphylactic shock he managed to call his boss to tell him what was happening.
But, after making his way on his ride-on lawnmower to the nearest house to get help, he collapsed on the doorstep.
He said: “I was just cutting between the headstones like I usually do.
“As soon as I went over the nest, I haven’t got a clue how many there were, but I could just feel them stinging my neck.
“Within a couple of minutes, I started swaying. I thought my only option was to go to the main gate or go to the nearest house so at least someone could see me if I passed out.”
By complete chance, the person’s whose door he had stumbled upon had an oxygen cylinder and was able to give him oxygen therapy until an ambulance arrived.
“I think her mum wasn’t very well and she needed oxygen. She was in a wheelchair but was giving me her gas and air,” Marc said.
“They took me in the ambulance and I was shaky for two hours.
Following his terrifying ordeal, Marc is now one of a group of patients undergoing three-year treatment at Hull Royal Infirmary to build up tolerance to wasp and bee stings to avoid life threatening reactions in the future.
Patients are given increasing amounts of venom to build up their ability to fight attacks.
Clinical nurse specialist Jackie Moor said: “It’s a three-year course of treatment and injections are weekly to start with then build up over time to every four to six weeks.
“It impacts on their lives because they can be here for up to two hours with every appointment so they have to be committed and have very supportive employers.
“But it can give them vital protection against life-threatening reactions in the future.”
Mr Gabriel now says he runs at the first sight of a wasp and carries two epipens just in case the worst was to happen again.