Man dies after being bitten by fire ants

FRANKLINTON, North Carolina -- A Franklinton family is warning others after the death of a father and husband.

On Sept. 28, Floyd Edwards died after his family said he had an allergic reaction following a fire ant bite.

"There ain't no telling how many times he got bit by fire ants," said Carlton Curtis, Edwards's son.

Curtis, his brother, and Edwards were clearing out a trailer on their 45-acre property when he began having problems.

"All of a sudden he says - 'Carlton, something's in my throat,'" Curtis said.

Edwards drank some water, and then returned to working. Shortly after, he came back to the house still struggling.

"I sat him down in the recliner right here - and I said, 'Floyd don't try to talk, just try to breathe. That's all you need to be worried about right now,' and you can tell he was real antsy like 'I can't breathe,'" Curtis recalled.

Paramedics gave him two shots with an EpiPen and Benadryl, but Curtis said that didn't help.

"I mean literally you feel helpless. Like, I was sitting with him with the ambulance, I was like - 'you all need to save him.' But I guess he was just too far gone," Curtis said.

The family was told that Edwards's cause of death was Anaphylactic shock, which was triggered by a severe allergic reaction.

"He loved his family, loved me, loved my mom. Especially loved that dog right there - good God almighty," said Curtis, as he petted Ellie Mae, Edwards' beloved dog.

The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology recommends people who've had severe reactions be evaluated by an allergist to diagnose their conditions. It added people should have an autoinjectable epinephrine pen, and be trained how to use it during an emergency situation.
Copyright © 2022 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.