PARENTS have been warned to be on the look-out for venomous spiders after a 10-year-old girl was “attacked in her sleep”.
Little Phoebe-Lee Matthews woke up on August 10 with a strange black dot on her lip which started to grow bigger and darker.
Phoebe-Lee Matthews was bitten by what is thought to have been a false widow spider while she sleptCredit: Kennedy News
Mum Rachel Wilson feared her daughter would be paralysed after she collapsed a few days after being bittenCredit: Kennedy News
Phoebe-Lee has since recovered from her ordeal but has been left with a ‘hole’ where she was bittenCredit: Kennedy News
The little girl was rushed to hospital after she collapsed a few days after the spider attackCredit: Kennedy News
Her mum Rachel Wilson, 35, became concerned and took her to her GP five days later.
She returned to the doctor several times and was given antibiotics.
The mum-of-three said it then eventually popped and began oozing “white gunk” into her daughter’s mouth before scabbing over – leading her to think the worst was over.
But when Rachel woke Phoebe the next morning her temperature shot up and she collapsed, causing her to be rushed to hospital.
Doctors gave her antibiotics to fight the infection and she was discharged the following day.
Rachel said that two days after the mark mysteriously appeared on Phoebe’s face she spotted an “unusual-looking” spider on the landing, which she believes was a false widow that bit her.
Six weeks on from the ordeal, Phoebe is fully healed but now has a “hole” in her face and has panic attacks every night she is put to bed.
Rachel now wants to raise awareness about the importance of being vigilant around spiders and has urged parents to get medical help straight away if their child is bitten.
She told Wales Online: “It was absolute hell. It’s taken a good four weeks for her to get over this.
“The bite was really black with brown spots in it and it had a white ring around the black spots. It was also red where it was swollen. It’s left a hole in her face.
“The dermatologist agreed that it was a false widow spider bite.”
Rachel described the “unusual” spider seen on the landing as being a “pinky-orange colour with a weird-shaped back.”
She said she then turned the house upside down looking for others but that was the only spider in the house.
MARK GREW BIGGER AND BLACKER
For the next few days her daughter was fine but noticed the mark had become bigger and blacker and so she took her to see the GP.
Thinking it was a wart or impetigo she was given some cream to put on it.
But when nothing improved they went back to the doctor’s two days later.
Rachel said: “I went back to the doctors again and said ‘listen, I’m still not happy. It’s getting bigger, something’s not right’. It was looking really red around the black spot, you could see it was infected.
“The doctor prescribed her with an antibiotic, I started using that and the next day she woke up and it was swollen. Her lip was really fat and she goes ‘Mum, I can’t speak’. “I was like ‘oh my god, Jesus’, so I took her back to the doctor again.
“On Saturday morning the spot had popped and was oozing out gunk so her lip had slightly de-swelled. The fluid was a mix between clear and white pus.
“I asked how she was and she was like ‘it’s leaking Mum, it’s leaking in my mouth’ and it was all crusty as it was trying to dry.”
Having now popped, Rachel was hopeful that things would now improve with the help of the antibiotics.
But on August 21 Phoebe took a turn for the worse.
Rachel said: “I woke her up and asked her to come downstairs for her antibiotics and she said ‘Mum, I don’t feel well’. I felt her head and her arms, body and legs were all boiling hot so I put a thermometer strip on her forehead and it went straight to 40 degrees.
“I instantly panicked and gave her some Calpol. I tried to get her to come downstairs and she said ‘I would Mummy but I can’t move my legs, they’re broken’. I grabbed her ankle and bent her leg and it was just dead weight and was all floppy. I went to stand her up then and she just collapsed.
“It scared the life out of me. My kids have been ill catching bugs or whatever but I’ve never been so scared. I was panicking. I thought she had sepsis from it and was worried she was paralysed. I was thinking ‘how long is this going to last for?'”
She then carried Phoebe downstairs to give her Calpol and antibiotics before they headed to Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend. She spent the night there where they upped her dose of antibiotics.
Rachel said: “She’s back to her normal self now but it has scarred her. She’s panicking every night when I put her to bed. I’ve got to pull the blinds up, look in the windows and check in between the curtains.
“I’m constantly checking every room. I’d tell other parents that if they see any spiders to get them out of the house quickly, don’t even risk it. If they see a black spot, get them straight to the doctors for antibiotics.”
The black dot popped after a few days and ‘white gunk’ oozed outCredit: Kennedy News
While in hospital she was given a dose of antibioticsCredit: Kennedy News
Although Phoebe-Lee is back to her usual self her mum says she suffers panic attacks when she is put to bedCredit: Kennedy News