Elderly Man Miraculously Survives After Being Stung by Nearly 1,000 Bees


Of all the outdoor critters we bump into regularly, bees are one of the ones we have the most mixed reactions to. We know they’re in decline, and they’re crucial to the continuation of crops and livelihoods.

In general, bees are rather gentle critters. But most of us, at one time or another, have had the misfortune of sitting down or stepping on one, and they do what anyone in their situation would do: They fight back.

It’s hard to blame them for that. Wasps and their angry friends are much easier to despise — they seem to go out of their way to bring misery and suffering, and they’re not limited to a single sting.

But not all bees are created equal. Vicious strains have become more and more prevalent, and are causing lots of problems.

Thomas Mizell of Cleveland, Texas, found that out recently when he was out minding his own business and tending to his farm. He didn’t see where the swarm came from, but suddenly the 81-year-old found himself engulfed in the fuzzy, black-and-yellow insects.

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“I just had a feeling,” his wife, Mary, said. “I said, ‘Something is wrong with Papa.’ I think we should check on him.”

And it was a good thing she did. She and her son Joey were due to meet up with Thomas for lunch, but for some reason she couldn’t quite explain, they decided to go a half an hour early.

It was a mercy they did. When they got to the spot where Thomas was working, they saw a man, but couldn’t even tell it was Thomas.

Some poor person was in a pond, covered in bees and stings. The bees started to attack Mary and Joey as well, and the three were left to fend off the bees as they rushed to the hospital.

“A miracle. It is. It’s a miracle,” Thomas later told interviewers. “People need to be aware of these killer bees because number one is they can kill ya,’ like they got me, but God was with me.”

“God had Cleveland Emergency Hospital ready for us,” he added. “I just know it. They gave me a lot of Benadryl and I don’t remember a lot after that. My heart seemed to settle down right away.”

Doctors were concerned because Thomas’ blood pressure was extremely high, but fortunately, it calmed down. The bees had attacked him so viciously that he was covered with around 1,000 stings, and one bee had even burst his eardrum after crawling into his ear.

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Tests are being run on a specimen from the attack to determine why the bees were so aggressive. It’s not clear whether they were Africanized bees or just vigilantly protecting their home — but either way, the damage remains.

Thomas’ retelling of the events that led up to the attack is incredible. It really is amazing that he survived.

“I walked by faith, not by sight,” he said, referencing a Bible verse. And he had to — he was so covered with bees, even his face, that he couldn’t see anything.

“I said, ‘Lord, help me.’ When I fell down trying to get out of the bees, He said, ‘Walk by faith,’ so I did,” Thomas said. “My heart was pounding as I went toward that pond. Still fighting the bees, I jumped into the pond but I could still hear the bees under the water.”

“When I got out of the pond, here come my wife and my son right there, 30 minutes early to pick me up,” he said.

Thomas is grateful to have survived, but he’s insistent on the reason for his survival. “God had a plan for me,” he said. “He was before everything and took care of it.”

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking


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