Random, unfortunate, catastrophic - it's difficult to put into words how the last eight years of Tony Del's life have played out.
The 58-year-old Coquitlam resident suffered a spider bite in 2005, and the lasting effects resulted in his leg being amputated below the knee late last year.
A guitarist and trucker by trade, Del's friends, family and bandmates are now staging a fundraiser for him on Monday, March 25 in Mission.
The evening also includes a list of high-profile local musicians - Jim Byrnes, Jerry Doucette and Dave Martone, to name a few - coming together to help one of their own.
"The music has been the connection between all these people, and that's been really cool," Del said Monday. "I don't know how I would cope with all of this on my own. It would be different."
Del was bitten by a brown recluse spider while working in his backyard in 2005. He went to the hospital within a few days and stayed there for weeks on end. He was re-admitted to hospital again in 2009.
"It got really bad at that point," said Del, who played in the Ken McCoy band for 16 years prior to the bite.
"The poison took over me. I was pretty out of it."
Thought to inhabit only portions of the southern and central U.S. states, there have been reports of the brown recluse spider in B.C. as well.
On average, the spiders are about a half-inch in length - slightly more than a centimetre - and tend to be nocturnal predators.
While they use venom to subdue or kill their prey, a 2003 article published in National Geographic suggests that 90 per cent of brown recluse spider bites heal without complications.
The report also notes that although death is a remote possibility, most people bitten by the spiders suffer from lesions, or long-term scarring.
"In the vast majority of cases, spider bite victims develop a negligible wound or show no symptoms whatsoever," the article suggests.
Del, however, was not so lucky.
Late last year, the after effects of the bite forced a decision that permanently altered Del's life, and the lives of his wife and five children.
He was back at Royal Columbian Hospital again in October, only this time, the spider bite almost killed him.
In order to stop the continued spread of the poison, the decision was made to amputate.
"I flatlined - kidney failure, liver failure, heart failure, you name it," Del said.
"There was so much poison throughout my body. It was a fast, split-second decision [to amputate] that brought me back. I'm lucky to be alive."
Despite the amputation of Del's leg, recovery has not been a sure bet. He still requires more surgery and skin grafts in order to have his leg properly fitted for a prosthesis.
He's unable to work, whether it be with his band or as a trucker, and his home needs renovations in order to accommodate his newfound mobility issues.
"Your whole life comes to a screeching halt. This is a pretty life-altering situation," Del said.
"You don't normally think about it, but all of the things you can't do really become frustrating. You feel kind of worthless at times. It's tough. It's affected everything in general."
That's where the local music community comes in. Proceeds from next week's show will be split between the Del family and the War Amps of Canada.
A slew of silent auction items - including Cloverdale Rodeo passes and musical equipment, among other things - will also be up for grabs.
"I've been doing music full time for 28 years, and Tony's been a part of that for 16 years," said Del's bandmate Ken McCoy, founder of the Ken McCoy Band.
"Since Tony came along, it's been great because he's an amazing player, just incredible.
"I've told him if it takes him sitting up, or sitting in a wheelchair, he'll be up on stage with me. I don't care. We're waiting for his return."
. The fundraiser is set for 7 p.m. on Monday, March 25 at the Clarke Theatre, located at 33700 Prentis Ave. in Mission. Tickets cost $20 and can be purchased online at www.brownpapertickets. com/event/343766 or by calling 604-820-3961.