A 20-year-old man is in the hospital after getting stung thousands of times by bees Friday in Ripley, Ohio.
Austin Bellamy was put on a ventilator in a medically induced coma at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center after the incident Friday. He came out of the coma on Wednesday, according to his family.
Bellamy was up in a lemon tree trimming branches Friday morning with his grandmother, Phyllis Edwards, and his uncle, Dustin Edwards, standing below. At some point, Bellamy unknowingly cut into a beehive.
“When he started cutting them, that’s when the bees came out, and he tried to anchor himself down, and he couldn’t,” Phyllis recalled. “He was hollering, ‘Help! Help me! Help!’ And nobody would help him.”
Phyllis and Dustin watched the entire episode unfold from the ground, unable to scale the ladder because they themselves were under attack.
“I was going to try and climb the ladder to get to Austin … I seen how high he was … but I couldn’t get to him because I was surrounded in bees,” she said.
Shawna Carter, Bellamy’s mother, says she passed out when she got the phone call. “It was just too much for me to take,” she said. “It looked like he had a black blanket on his head down to his neck, down to his arms.”
Emergency crews called UC Air Care for Bellamy. Phyllis left for the hospital in an ambulance moments before the medical helicopter arrived in Brown County to transport the 20-year-old to Corryville.
Bellamy was stung at least 20,000 times, according to an online fundraiser set up by the family. Carter says he ingested around 30 bees as well.
“So he had bees inside of him, and they suctioned bees out of him until Sunday morning,” she explained.
Carter says it was a Ripley Fire Department firefighter named Craig who saved his life.
“When I think of Craig, Craig is a lifesaver,” she said. “He’s Austin’s angel. He saved Austin’s life.”
Doctors say Bellamy will make a full recovery.
Enquirer media partner Fox19 (WXIX-TV) provided this report