Stranger Saves Woman Dying From Ant Bites

By Alan Cheung
Alan Cheung
Alan Cheung
September 27, 2018 Updated: September 27, 2018

A woman in North Carolina was driving along a route she didn’t usually take on Sept. 22 when she then saw another woman lying out in their yard.

Donna Kearns had been applying weed killer to the tall grass in her yard outside her Archdale home when she hit a mound of fire ants. The fire ants exploded from the mound and crawled all over her.

“When the weed eater hit them, they just exploded in on me,” Kearns told Fox 8. “The biting started instantly and you could tell because it’s like pins going through you.”

As she attempted to wash the ants off with water, Kearns started to feel sick and collapsed.

Her husband was inside the house at the time and she thought of calling for his help. “It went through my mind, my husband is hard of hearing as well, and I knew he had the TV on real loud, so I was thinking, ‘How am I going to get to him to let him know that I am out here?'” she said.

It was at this time that the woman who was driving by arrived to assist her.

The Stranger Arrives

The woman, who chose to remain unidentified, was driving with her husband as they made their way to visit her mother-in-law. The woman told Fox 8 that they usually took a different route, but that day, they decided to go on Weant Road instead.

The woman explained that Kearns has a sign in her yard that advertises fresh eggs, which always gets her attention when she drives past.

This time, the woman saw that Kearns needed help and immediately went to the front door and told Kearns’s husband that his wife was collapsed on the floor, WSOCTV reported.

The woman also called emergency service officials who arrived just in time. They immediately recognized the allergic reaction when they saw all the bites on Kearns’s feet.

Although Kearns was unresponsive, she later told everyone that she could hear everything that was said but had been unable to respond.

Kearns was urgently transported to the hospital soon after the emergency officials arrived.

“You can’t really imagine what could have happened, but it definitely would have happened if she wouldn’t have stopped,” Kearns said.

Life is All About the Little Things

After spending two days in hospital, Kearns told Fox 8 that she was leaving her hospital bed with a wiser outlook on life.

She said that the incident made her appreciate that life is all about the little things, whether it’s something as small as an ant or a single momentary glance from a stranger at the right time in the right direction.

“It was meant to be, I guess it wasn’t my time to go. She was in the right place at the right time,” Kearns said. “And thank God she stopped and I love her to death.”

The stranger didn’t take credit for her act and refused to appear on camera. She did not want to be identified because she said that God put her in the right place at the right time.

Fire Ant Allergies

According to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology, fire ant stings may require emergency treatment to be sought as they can result in anaphylaxis. The stings can also cause a wide variety of other symptom; swelling of the throat or tongue, hives, difficulty breathing, dizziness, stomach cramps, nausea, or diarrhea.

In an extreme case, blood pressure can rapidly fall causing a loss of consciousness.

Anyone with a severe allergy to fire ant stings should always carry an autoinjectable epinephrine device, learn how to use it, and replace the device before it expires.

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Alan Cheung