CLEVELAND, Texas (FOX 26) - An 81-year-old Liberty County man is recovering after suffering from a bee attack. Family says he was stung around 1,000 times.
"Oh we know bees, but these bees aren't like the bees we know," said Tresha Holt.
Thomas Mizell claims he was attacked by killer bees. Holt is Mizell's daughter.
"He farms from dusk til dawn," said Holt. "He was clearing out the land for a fence line and all of a sudden, he didn't know where they came from, the bees just attacked him."
And with no one around and no cell phone on him, all Mizell knew to do was get away. Within seconds, bees were swarming and stinging Mizell all over his body.
"I walk by faith and not by sight. I couldn't see, hardly, the bees had done got in my eyes and ears," said Mizell.
Nearly 200 yards away was a pond that Mizell had dug years ago.
"Came right through here, stumblin' and a fallin' and fightin' them things and I jumped in right aside that pole right there," said Mizell. "When I got out of the pond, here come my wife and my son right there, 30 minutes early to pick me up."
Mizell, his wife Mary and their son Joey had plans for lunch at noon. Something told Mary to leave early.
"That day, it was something gnawing at me. It wasn't just right," said Mary. "It was him in the pond trying to get out and the bees was covered all over."
"It was so painful I just thought that this was it," said Mizell.
That wasn't it. Mary and her son rushed Mizell to the nearest hospital in Cleveland. When they arrived, nurses began removing the stingers. Bees were also removed from Mizell's nose and ears. It's estimated Mizell suffered nearly 1,000 bee stings.
"He had over 135 stings in his head alone." said Holt.
"I got a new hairdo," joked Mizell. "I never lost my hair this close, but it's cut off now because of the bee stings."
Mizell was released from the hospital after a one-night stay. He left on his 81st birthday.
"A miracle. It is. It's a miracle," said Holt.
"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," said Mizell.
"Doctors said if my mom and my brother wouldn't have showed up when they did, my dad wouldn't have had much longer to live," said Holt.
"God spared my life and I'm thankful," said Mizell.
His family says one of the bees that stung Mizell is going to be sent off to be analyzed and classified. We'll let you know when they get those results back.