Woman hospitalized after being bitten by poisonous spider while kayaking on Virginia river

A woman was left hospitalized for a week in excruciating pain after being bitten by a brown recluse spider during a 10-hour kayaking trip.

Sherri Maddox was kayaking along the Staunton River in Virginia, between Long Island and Brookneal making a few stops along the way.

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 and didn’t think much of it at first and went home believing it was harmless.

But the next day she said there was no improvement and she decided to go to her local emergency center where she was given antibiotics.

Sherri 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.”

Two days after the bite, doctors determined that it was from a brown recluse spider.

“I hallucinated a lot and 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 added.

Eventually, the swelling went down and, even though she’s still on antibiotics, she is expected to make a full recovery.

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 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.

Lynchburg entomologist David Moore said if you think you’ve been bitten by an unfamiliar insect the best thing to do is capture it, dead or alive, and bring it with you to a nearby hospital because it’s easier for doctors to treat a bite when they can identify the insect, as per WFLA.

I cannot imagine how painful this must have been not to mention worrying when she was told she was bitten by a brown recluse spider.

Please share to warn others to act fast if they suspect they’ve been bitten by a spider.