Woman thought she had spot on finger but it was false widow spider bite

A woman had a false widow spider bite surgically removed from her finger after wrongly thinking it was a spot.

Crystal Rudd, 28, tried to pop the painful bite with a sterilised pin in March, but the pain didn’t go away and spread to her arm.

Medics in A&E suspected it was a horsefly bite, sent her away with antibiotics and told her to take antihistamines.

But less than a week later, Crystal couldn’t sleep as her finger was so tight and sore it felt like it was going to split open.

The mum-of-three, from Spalding, Lincolnshire, said: ‘The pain began to become excruciating. It began to grow bigger and bigger.

‘I was prescribed stronger antibiotics but the pain was so bad that I couldn’t bend my knuckles properly and it was too painful to look after my children.

‘I had to ask my eldest, who is eight, to help me get dressed because I couldn’t move my hand.’

‘The pain was down to my elbow, it was all around my forearm like it felt bruised and tender like I pulled a muscle,’ she added.

‘My finger where I was bit, it was angry red and very tight it felt like my finger was going to split open.

‘It felt like my finger was going to explode.’

The next day her husband Stephen, 25, took her to Peterborough City Hospital.

Medics took blood and X-rayed her finger before telling her it was a false widow spider bite.

Crystal was rushed for surgery on April 3 where doctors cut her finger open to clean and remove the infection around the knuckle join.

She said: ‘A triage nurse thought the bite was getting better, but I asked to see a doctor.

‘I wanted the pain to stop and I felt I wanted to cut my finger off to help as it was so tight and swollen.

‘On the ward I had a doctor speak to me and he said “that looks like a false widow spider bite”.

‘He said I would have an operation, they wanted to cut from my knuckle to just past the bite to clean it and remove the infection and around the knuckle joint.’

Crystal was released a few days later but she might need physio for her finger in the future.

She said: ‘The next day I saw my finger I felt sick and was shocked how bad it looked.

‘I wouldn’t want anyone to have to go through what I did being in that pain.

‘Not being able to get dressed, cook, I wasn’t able to mother my children.

‘I went to A&E very early on when I noticed in two days but some people may go for even longer than I did. People need to be vigilant.’

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