Spider suspect as chef almost gets the chop

INGLEWOOD restaurant owner Paul Zammit nearly lost his leg and was forced to close for a month following a mysterious infection.

Mr Zammit, who owns A Fish Called Inglewood, was rushed to hospital after experiencing chest pains.

“They ruled out a heart attack, but then my leg tripled in size and I started getting some swelling on my brain,” the 44-year-old says.

“I was on 11 different antibiotics, but they couldn’t get to the bottom of it, and at one point I was looking at losing my leg or plastic surgery.

“I ended up spending weeks in hospital and eventually the swelling started to go down, but they never diagnosed what caused it all.”

Mr Zammit says he’d visited a farm shortly before he was rushed to a hospital and thinks he may have been bitten by a spider.

• Paul Zammit shows off his bandage. Photo by Matthew Dwyer

• Paul Zammit shows off his bandage. Photo by Matthew Dwyer

“I had to close down because I employ staff with disabilities, who require extra supervision, and it cost me around $80,000 in lost revenue,” he sighs, sadly.

“But I kept people updated on Facebook, and the response I got when I reopened was phenomenal.

“Since reopening we have had a spike in trade, which helps pay for some of my medical bills.”

Mr Zammit opened his informal seafood restaurant nine months ago, around the same time Inglewood on Beaufort started to tszuj-up the suburb.

Inglewood now has a weekly food market, several funky murals and IOB is looking at setting up a community garden.

“I think the suburb is really taking off,” Mr Zammit says.

“We have some momentum and a great vibe up this end of Beaufort Street.

“I just got the all-clear from the doctor this week, so it’s all hands back on deck.”

by STEPHEN POLLOCK

895 A Fish Called Inglewood 9x2.3

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