A venomous spider bite on the face resulted in a scary few days for one Virginia woman.
Sherri Maddox was kayaking down the Staunton River in Southern Virginia. It’s a river she was very familiar with having swam in it and now kayaked in since she was 6 years old but this day was very different.
Sherri felt a bite on her upper lip by a brown recluse spider and didn’t think much of it at first and went home believing it was harmless.
Maddox wasn’t immediately concerned about the bite, but by the second day realized that she needed antibiotics. By the third day, she was in pain and sought medical attention.
Maddox said as time went on, and after taking antibiotics, it got worse.
“I cried. It was terrible. I thought I was going to die, you know, it was a lot of pain,” she said, as per NBC news affiliate WFLA.
“I’m almost 50, and I’ve been floating in the Staunton River since I could swim, 6 years old,” she added. “I was just praying I wasn’t going to die because I hear horror stories and you look on the internet and see all this stuff.”
At one point, Maddox told Fox News, she hallucinated, not realizing she had been transported from one hospital to another, instead imagining she was still at home.
She “thought it was because of the pain meds they gave me, but I heard from several different people that that’s what the spider venom does,” she told the outlet.
After she was hospitalized, doctors realized that the bite must have come from a brown recluse spider, which is also known as a ‘violin spider’ because of the instrument-shaped markings on its body.
“If you think there’s anything wrong with your body, go see somebody,” said Maddox on her advice to others. “Because if I didn’t go see somebody, anything could have happened.”
The brown recluse spider is one of the most dangerous spiders in the United States and its habitat extends from Nebraska to Ohio and across the south from Texas to Florida. Its venom includes a neurotoxic component that can cause hallucinations.
Its venom also destroys the walls of blood vessels near the site of the bite, sometimes causing a large skin ulcer, but deaths are said to be rare, according to Britannica online.
Watch the video below on how to identify brown recluse spiders: