Friday, April 13, 2012

Tom Horn: Boy Needs 30 Stitches After Pufferfish Attack: Parts of feet entirely ripped off

A young boy in Australia has suffered a rare attack by a type of fish described as a "cross between a tadpole and a shark".

Tom Horn, five, was bitten while wading with his family on Thursday Island, in the far north of Queensland.

The creature bit both of his feet and he needed to be taken 450 miles to Cairns for surgeons to operate.

The attack was by a feroxodon multistiatus, known as 'ferocious pufferfish', which grow to a length of only 14 inches but have powerful teeth-filled jaws.

"They were unbelievable wounds," said Tom’s policeman father, Senior Sergeant Jamie Horn. "The ball of his left big toe was missing and a chunk of flesh was missing out of his right heel.

"You wouldn't think a little pufferfish could be so vicious.''

Tom needed 30 stitches for his wounds. He was kept in hospital for two weeks on antibiotics as a precaution against infection, reported Queensland’s Courier Mail newspaper.

Surgeons now plan to have a report published in a medical journal to document the rare attack. more