A woman was hospitalised and in danger of having her arm amputated after a spider bite left her with a gaping wound.
Lauren Reid, who is from Kingstanding, near Birmingham, was bitten while she was asleep. The 21 year-old said: “I was in my bedroom asleep when I felt something crawl across my left arm. I pushed it off and noticed something sticking out my arm. It looked like a thick black hair. I pulled it out, cleaned it up and went back to sleep.”
However, the following day the small mark on Lauren’s arm had swollen into a grotesque lump and Lauren took herself to her GP to have it checked out. Her doctor concluded she had an abcess and prescribed antibiotics.
Lauren continued to suffer, experiencing sickness and drowsiness as well as hot and cold flushes: “I was in an unbelievable amount of pain. My arm was paralysed and stuck in an upwards position. If I tried to move it, it felt as though my arm would rip off.”
A walk-in medical centre told her the antibiotics might take several days to work, but Lauren felt so ill that a friend persuaded her to go to A&E. Lauren said: “My arm felt really hot and I had shooting pains. Eventually my friend told me we should go to A&E. She was that worried. When we arrived, the doctors looked stumped. I don’t think they had seen anything like it, which was really scary.”
Lauren was admitted by Good Hope Hospital on Sunday and kept in for four days while doctors treated her with intravenous antibiotics, fighting to clear the venom from her system. The medical team are waiting on test results to determine what variety of spider Lauren was bitten by.
Lauren remains terrified by the whole ordeal: “I think if I hadn’t listened to my friend and gone to hospital, I may have had to have my arm amputated. I was deteriorating very quickly.
“I’m back home now, but I don’t even want to go to sleep in my bedroom. I’m shaking now just thinking about it. I’m scared to be on my own.”