A UK woman nearly lost her arm after a false widow spider bit her on the back of her hand in bed.
Catherine Coombs said that she woke up in excruciating pain one night in February and she saw that her hand begun to swell profusely.
She was rushed to the hospital where the surgeons operated on her three times to remove the spider venom that ate away at her hand and the already decayed flesh to prevent the poison from spreading.
At one stage of her condition, doctors had worried that they had to amputate Coombs’ hand because her body temperature had dropped dramatically as the skin infection cellulitis set in and doctors were concerned that the inflamed patch on one of her legs meant that the poison had spread via her blood stream.
Coombs spent the last six weeks in the hospital, and is now recovering at home where she is waiting for the infection to leave her body before doctors can reconstruct her paralyzed tendons.
"I have been terrified of spiders all my life,” Coombs said, according to the Daily Mail.
"People tell you it's such a silly phobia and they can't hurt you, but now I know that they can. For a while the doctors were worried that I may even lose the hand completely and I had to sign for amputation every time I went under anesthetic," she said.
Based on the marks, doctors believe that Coombs was most likely bitten by the false widow spider (Steatoda nobilis), UK’s most venomous spider.
The spider is about the size of a dime, has a dark, shiny body with pale markings and vanilla colored band on its abdomen, and its bite can cause symptoms like chest pains, swelling and tingling of fingers.