Man in coma after stung by bees 20,000 times, family says

Published: Aug. 31, 2022 at 3:11 AM CDT
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RIPLEY, Ohio (WXIX/Gray News) - A 20-year-old man nearly lost his life getting stung thousands of times by bees after accidentally cutting into a nest while tree trimming.

Austin Bellamy remains on a ventilator in a medically induced coma at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, as of Tuesday night, WXIX reports.

The 20-year-old 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 bee’s nest.

“When he started cutting them, that’s when the bees came out, and he tried to anchor himself down, and he couldn’t,” Phyllis Edwards said. “He was hollering, ‘Help! Help me! Help!’ And nobody would help him.”

Bellamy’s family members 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,” Phyllis Edwards 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.”

EMS called UC Air Care for Bellamy. Phyllis Edwards left for the hospital in an ambulance moments before the medical helicopter arrived 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 said 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 life-saver,” she said. “He’s Austin’s angel. He saved Austin’s life.”

Doctors said Bellamy will make a full recovery.

“I just want to tell him that I love him and I miss him and he’s my boy,” Dustin Edwards said.