Woman reveals she was left terrified after a spider bite saw her hand ‘double its size’

‘Petrified’ student, 20, inspects her room every night after she was rushed to hospital when a spider bite caused her hand to swell to ‘twice its size’

When Anya Cantrell woke up with a bite mark on her hand at her student home in Chichester, West Sussex, on January 6, she was initially unconcerned.

But as the injury worsened over the next two days, the 20-year-old student started to worry when her hand swelled to ‘double its size’ and she began to experience agonising pain.

After antibiotics proved ineffective, doctors at St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester rushed Anya into emergency surgery on January 10.

A team of surgeons drained the fluid from the theatre student’s hand and confirmed that the bite was from the common false widow spider. Anya claims that she ‘could have died’, as doctors caught the injury just before the infection went into her bloodstream.

Anya Cantrell, 20, was bitten by a spider in her home in Chichester, West Sussex in early January. She ended up needing surgery after the bite got infected, in spite of antibiotics. Pictured with her bandages after the procedures

Anya Cantrell, 20, was bitten by a spider in her home in Chichester, West Sussex in early January. She ended up needing surgery after the bite got infected, in spite of antibiotics. Pictured with her bandages after the procedures 

However, the scariest part was far from over, as the offending insect is yet to be found in Anya’s student home.

The nervous young woman claims she now resorts to searching her room before she goes to sleep, afraid that something will crawl on her in the night.

Anya, who is originally from Southampton, Hampshire, said: ‘It was scary. To start with, I thought it was a bite and I could just get antibiotics and it would be fine.

‘After [the surgery] they said they were lucky they caught it when they did, because it was very close to going into my bloodstream and becoming sepsis.

The student claims her hand doubled in size after the bite got infected, prompting her to go to the hospital

The student claims her hand doubled in size after the bite got infected, prompting her to go to the hospital 

After the procedure, the infection subsided, but the bite left a gaping hole in Anya's wrist that is still healing

After the procedure, the infection subsided, but the bite left a gaping hole in Anya’s wrist that is still healing 

At first, Anya didn't think anything of the small bite, pictured

It soon got infected, causing her pain, pictured

At first, Anya didn’t think anything of the small bite, left, but it soon got infected, causing her pain, right 

The student showing her bandages after getting back home from the hospital following her frightening ordeal

The student showing her bandages after getting back home from the hospital following her frightening ordeal

‘There’s a risk I could have died. I was quite panicked.

‘[We] haven’t managed to find the spider. That’s scary as well.

‘My parents dropped me back [from the surgery] and I asked my dad to come into my room and check everywhere, search all the corners and everything.

‘It happened while I was asleep, so [now] before I go to sleep, I’m checking everywhere to see if there’s anything that could potentially crawl on me in the night.’

Anya, 20, shows off her bandaged arm after the spider bite worsened in the days following the initial injury

Anya, 20, shows off her bandaged arm after the spider bite worsened in the days following the initial injury

Anya, 20, from Chichester, has relived her ordeal after the damage caused by the bite meant she had to have an operation

Anya, 20, from Chichester, has relived her ordeal after the damage caused by the bite meant she had to have an operation

While Anya (pictured) is now recovering from the spider bite, she is terrified the eight-legged villain is still in her house

While Anya (pictured) is now recovering from the spider bite, she is terrified the eight-legged villain is still in her house

After her surgery, Anya went home to visit her parents in Southampton, taking refuge from the eight-legged villain hiding in her house.

Anya claims that she left her bedroom door open whilst she was away in hope that the lurking pest would crawl away.

Already ‘petrified’ of spiders, the bite victim’s run-in with a false widow has made her more afraid than ever.

Anya said: ‘It’s more scary now thinking it could still be there, after what it’s done to my hand.

‘I went back home to my parents and I left my bedroom door open. I was like, ‘I’m leaving my door open so if anything is in there it can crawl out and bog off’.

‘I’m petrified of spiders as it is. When I see one, I have to be out of the room.

‘[Now] I walk into a room, and I’m checking all the corners. If there’s a spider anywhere near me, I’m like, ‘Get away from me. This is what spiders do to my hand’.

‘This has definitely made me more afraid of spiders. I think if it came to it [before] and I was by myself, I’d be able to get rid of a spider. But now I’m saying no.’

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