At Foshee Jewelers, owner Clyde Foshee, 77, works on a watch to keep his mind off his wife who is in a coma at the hospital.
Juanita Foshee, 81, was outside their home when she stumbled upon an underground wasp nest in an overgrown area of the yard.
“There wasn’t a place on her body that wasn’t eat up,” said Clyde Foshee.
Clyde’s son Chris was the first to get home and help. “Her throat was swelling up and she was already having trouble breathing because she couldn’t get no air,” said Chris,
adding, “When I got there, she was still fighting the bees.”
The two of them continued fighting hundreds, if not thousands, of yellow jackets even as Chris brought his mother to Lakeland Regional Medical Center where he says, they had to
clear out part of the Emergency Room because wasps were flying out of Juanita’s hair.
“They shaved her hair completely all off to treat her bites and get all the yellow jackets off of her,” said Clyde.
Doctors say Juanita suffered at least 1,000 stings. Clyde can’t imagine her pain. He was recently stung and has the mark to prove it. “I don’t know how she managed to stay
conscious with that many bites. I just don’t know. If she did fall down and was unconscious, they would have killed her on the spot. They are that aggressive,” said Clyde.
A pest control expert said “What’s worse is the colony mentality, especially when some nests can have up to 5,000 wasps.”
“Once they sting, the first sting sets out a pheromone which tells the other colony members to attack and they come right to the same spot.”
Even at 81-years-old, Juanita was healthy and she was not allergic to wasps. Five days after the attack, the poison is killing her kidneys and liver.
Her husband of 55 years fears the worst. “She’s critical. They are not giving me much hope,” said Clyde.
His son is keeping the faith. “I think we got a chance. We just have to keep praying,” said Chris.
Unlike bees that sting only once, yellow jackets can sting you multiple times. Experts say if you set off a nest, get as far away as fast you can.