Bite from common spider left student in emergency surgery


Anya Cantrell, 20, said she ‘could have died’ if doctors did not rush her to surgery in time (Pictures: Kennedy News & Media)

A theatre student had to be rushed into emergency surgery after she was bitten by a common false widow spider.

Anya Cantrell, 20, is terrified the creature is still in her bedroom after her scary experience.

She woke up to find the bite on her hand on January 6 in her home in Chichester, West Sussex.

She was initially unconcerned, but the injury worsened over the next two days – and eventually, her hand ‘doubled in size’.

Anya was put on antibiotics but they did not work and she started feeling agonising pain.

Doctors ended up rushing her into surgery on January 10 to drain the fluid from the wound.

Anya said: ‘After the surgery, the doctors said they were lucky they caught it when they did, because it was very close to going into my bloodstream and becoming sepsis. There’s a risk I could have died. I was quite panicked.’

Doctors had to drain fluid from Anya’s hand (Picture: Kennedy News and Media)

She said the ordeal has left her even more terrified of spiders (Picture: Kennedy News and Media)

While false widow spiders do have a venomous bite, the venom is not particularly potent or dangerous.

Bites can become infected or cause severe allergic reactions but this is fairly rare.

Anya, who was scared of spiders before her bite, is now worried the creature hasn’t left her home.

She said: ‘We haven’t managed to find the spider. That’s scary as well.

‘My parents dropped me back from the surgery and I asked my dad to come into my room and check everywhere, search all the corners and everything.

‘It happened while I was asleep, so [now] before I go to sleep, I’m checking everywhere to see if there’s anything that could potentially crawl on me in the night.’

She is hoping her scheme to leave her bedroom door open while away at her parents’ house has meant the spider has left.

She said: ‘I’m petrified of spiders as it is. When I see one, I have to be out of the room. Now I walk into a room, and I’m checking all the corners.

‘If there’s a spider anywhere near me, I’m like: “Get away from me. This is what spiders do to my hand”.

‘This has definitely made me more afraid of spiders. I think if it came to it [before] and I was by myself, I’d be able to get rid of a spider. But now I’m saying no.’

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