Think the humble house spider is harmless? Think again: woman nearly dies after spider bite

Natalie Hemme suffered a rare allergic reaction after being bitten on the wrist by a house spider

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The Independent Online

A 31-year-old woman has described how she almost died after she was bitten by a house spider.

Natalie Hemme, a civil servant from Wallington, Surrey, was lying in bed when the spider bit her.

Because of a rare allergic reaction she suffered shocking swelling to her arm. The blood flow in the limb was blocked and it subsequently turned septic.

She developed Compartment Syndrome, which results in muscle and flesh in the limb dying.

Speaking to The Sun newspaper Mrs Hemme, who has since recovered from the incident, said:  ‘I was lucky to survive. You’d expect it in Australia - but not in Surrey.’

Surgeons had discussed amputating her arm after doctors thought her life could be at risk.

However, following five operations the limb was saved.

Ms Hemme suffered the small bite on her wrist in February, and within a few days her whole arm started to swell and throb. She went to a clinic and was told she had probably been bitten by a spider and was given antibiotics and paracetamol.

Within days her symptoms worsened and she began vomiting and struggling to stand, so her husband Michael ,35, called an ambulance.

On being taken to hospital she was warned by doctors that her arm might have to be amputated.

She told The Sun: “I was in such pain when they told me I needed my arm amputated that I didn’t even care. It was agony and I know I have been very lucky to survive and keep my arm.

“I can’t believe all this happened over a spider bite.

“I honestly thought I was going to die.”

Ms Hemme spent three weeks in hospital, followed by physiotherapy, before she was able to return to work.