Brown recluse spider bite nearly blinds college student

A Texas Christian University student suffered from necrosis of the ear and was nearly blinded by a spider bite.

WRITTEN BY: Brittney Elkins
Brown recluse spiders are spreading across North America, but are primarily found in the Midwest.
Image Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention via Wikimedia Commons
Brown recluse spiders are spreading across North America, but are primarily found in the Midwest.

A brown recluse spider bite almost blinded a Texas Christian University student.

Nikki Perez, a fashion merchandising student, was bit by a brown recluse spider in the Amarillo airport. Perez, 21, was sitting next to her boyfriend Eric and his mother when she felt a sharp sting on the back of her neck.

“Next, I felt something crawling over my face and my eye. I yelled for Eric to help me, and when he saw the spider crawling over my face, he swatted it to the floor and stamped on it,” Perez said.

The “sharp sting” was the bite of the venomous brown recluse spider. Perez wrapped the brown recluse spider in a tissue to show doctors.
She said she felt “funny instantly.”

The hospital could not do much to help Perez until further symptoms appeared. Side effects of a brown recluse spider bite include pain and redness at the bite site, vomiting, fever, itching, and muscle pain.

But other effects of a brown recluse spider bite can be much worse. The bites can cause necrosis, or skin rot, and even death.

Perez’s head began to swell so much that her left eye swelled shut.

“I was going blind… it was terrifying,” she said, “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.”

The brown recluse spider bite was causing necrosis in her ear.

“My ear basically started to rot right on schedule with the doctor’s predictions. Then it started spreading to my other eye,” Perez said.

Nikki Perez photographed her entire brown recluse spider ordeal from the first bite to being fully head. Unfortunately, she was not healed until she spent a short time in the hospital and received skin grafts on her rotted ear.

Brown recluse spiders are reportedly spreading throughout North America, but they rarely come out of hiding. Only 50 percent of brown recluse spider bites produce venom.

Still, stories like this don’t help cure arachnophobia.

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