Woman Hospitalized After Venomous Spider Bites Her On The Mouth

Sherri Maddox/WFXRTV

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 when she was bitten on the lip by a brown recluse spider. 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.

“I thought I was going to die, you know, it was a lot of pain,”  Maddox told Fox 8 WFXR.

Maddox was admitted to a Bedford area hospital and says that for five days of her hospitalization she hallucinated on and off. When hallucinating, she wasn’t aware that she was in the hospital, instead thinking that she was at the home of a family member. She initially thought the hallucinations were due to the pain meds she had been given. “But, I heard from several different people that that’s what the spider venom does,” Maddox said.

According to Penn State Extension, “The brown recluse, in its normal range, prefers to inhabit gaps under rocks, boards, and the bark of dead trees and logs. In structures, it will live inside cracks in walls and boards and behind and under any number of items in storage. The brown recluse prefers nesting sites that are warm and dry.”

Approximately 90 percent of brown recluse bites result in no reaction. But, for the 10 percent that result in lesions, the damage can be unpleasant.

“These lesions develop over the course of two weeks, during which the skin surrounding the bite turns black, dries out, and eventually sloughs off. These bites take two to four months to fully heal,” the website reads.

Learn how to identify brown recluse spiders in the video below.