Sherri Maddox was on a 10-hour kayaking trip down the Staunton River when she was bitten by the spider, but didn’t initially realise how serious the bite was.
When it still felt painful the next day, Ms Maddox sought antibiotics – but the area became incredibly swollen and it soon became clear the problem was serious.
“I’m almost 50, and I’ve been floating in the Staunton River since I could swim, 6 years old,” Ms Maddox told Fox News.
“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.”
At one point, Ms Maddox told Fox News, she hallucinated, not realising she had been transported from one hospital to another, instead imagining she was still at home.
She “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 told the outlet.
After she was hospitalised, doctors realised that the bite must have come from a brown recluse spider, which is also known as a ‘violin spider’ because of the instrument-shaped markings on its body. Brown recluse spiders are among a small number of venomous spiders in the US.
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