Brown recluse spider bite nearly blinds Latina

What's your biggest fear? There's a lot of things I could put on that list, but a deadly spider bite is probably going to take the top spot for me. Well, guess what? A Latina in Texas was recently bitten by the incredibly dangerous brown recluse spider and was almost blinded.

The venomous spider bite happened at the airport, where 21-year-old Nikki Perez was waiting with her boyfriend and his mom last September. Although the boyfriend's mom, a nurse, immediately identified the spider, doctors couldn't do much for Nikki until she showed symptoms of the spider bite. Eventually, it took part of her ear.  

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During the ordeal, Nikki took pictures to document her necrosis, or dying of the skin cells, as her head began to swell. It got so bad that her left eye swelled shut. She describes the scary ordeal as the venom spread:

I was going blind ... it was terrifying.  It was spreading all over my head, which actually felt like a bit of a relief as the pain was so concentrated behind my ear.

Luckily, after her ear started literally rotting off, she found a spider expert who removed the dead tissue around her ear and injected her with steroids so that her head shrunk back to its normal size. After spending 5 days in the hospital, she left with little more than a skin graft on her ear.

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But other people that get bit by this "recluse" spider aren't always so lucky. Its poison can be lethal to the elderly and children, which is why I'm so terrified of the thing. It's spreading through North America, but knowing how to identify the spider is a good first step for avoiding it: it's got a violin-shaped mark on its back. That may not be the biggest comfort, but at least if you get bitten you can know. In the meantime, I'm going to check every nook and cranny of my house and pray I don't find any.

Are you afraid of spiders?

Image via graftedno1/flickr

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