Just in case there were any doubts that the set of Rust was one massive work hazard, another crew member working on the film has wound up hospitalized following an incident on set. According to the New York Post, Jason Miller, 44, was helping tear down the set of the now-notorious Alec Baldwin western when he was bitten by a brown recluse (a highly venomous species of spider native to New Mexico) and nearly lost his left arm. While Miller is now in stable condition, it was a close call for the pipe rigger and electrician, who ultimately had to undergo three surgeries to save the limb.

The incident occurred on October 27, a mere week after the tragic on-set shooting that claimed the life of Rust cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. Miller was reportedly packing up cables when a co-worker informed him a small spider was on his shirt. Miller said he brushed the spider off, not thinking much of the occurrence and not realizing he had already been bitten by the recluse.

“I didn’t think anything of it at first,” Miller said. “I just brushed it off, but I’m also diabetic so I have neuropathy, which means I don’t feel light touch. I had no idea I had been bit already.”

12 hours after Miller sustained the bite, the area began to swell, followed by discoloration just a few days later. On the fourth day, however, Miller’s bite was so severe, he went to the hospital to get a prescription for antibiotics. While he assumed things would get better following his treatment, the next day he was in so much pain he couldn’t even drive himself to the hospital, and ultimately had to call 911 for help.

“By then, it turned into necrotizing fasciitis,” a rare bacterial infection, he said. “I had no idea, and they took me into surgery so fast. I thought they would be able to just treat the area of the bite. I didn’t realize that it was my whole arm and that my life was in danger because I have already become fully septic.”

Over the course of the next few days, Miller underwent three separate surgeries in an attempt to save both his arm and his life. According to Miller, he has now lost about 70 percent of the fascia (or the connective tissue beneath the skin) of his left arm, and will most likely be receiving skin grafts, therapy, and additional surgeries for the next year. Doctor’s suspect Miller has lost about 70 percent of his left arm’s function, but Miller remains confident that, with time, his abilities will return to him.

“I will continue to do these treatments but it’s just going to take time and patience,” he said. “I’m a pretty independent person and not someone who likes to be laid up. And also, I love my job, so hopefully I will be able to lift 50 pounds again. I don’t know if I ever will, but if I can’t go back to being an electrician, I’m sure there is another class that I’ll be able to find my way in.”

Miller said it was a bit of a struggle getting support from his union immediately following the incident, considering they were understandably tied up working on Hutchins on-going case. However, it looks like Miller will be receiving worker’s compensation from the film. In the meantime, family members have also set up a GoFundMe page for Miller, which has already raised more than $13,500.

Source: https://uproxx.com/movies/rust-crew-member-nearly-lost-arm-spider-bite/