A Campbell County woman was hospitalized for nearly a week after a 10-hour kayak trip along the Staunton River.
Sherri Maddox says she flew to Brookneal from Long Island near Gladys. A day later, she noticed a suspicious bite on her lip. At first, the doctors struggled to treat it. Well, says Maddox, she’s just glad she lived to warn others about what was going on out there.
50-years-old Maddox said she was on a kayaking trip down the Staunton River when the venomous spider had bitten her.
At first, Maddox didn’t think very much of it, but after the swelling and the pain continued on to the next day, she decided to take a trip to the hospital where they gave her antibiotics. She said she still wasn’t too worried about it until things started to get worse.
“I cried. It was terrible. I thought I was going to die, you know, it was a lot of pain.” Maddox told KOIN. “I’m almost 50, and I’ve been floating in the Staunton River since I could swim, 6 years old. I was just praying I wasn’t going to die because I hear horror stories and you look on the internet and see all this stuff.”
Doctors at the hospital finally pinpointed that it was a brown recluse spider bite on her lip and acted fast. Lynchburg General Hospital where she was was full and so they sent her to Bedford where the doctors and nurses worked together to heal her.
“I hallucinated a lot and thought it was because of the pain meds they gave me, but I heard from several different people that that’s what the spider venom does,” Maddox said.
Maddox also underwent surgery on her lip so that they could remove all of the dead tissue from the area.
The doctors told her that they weren’t sure if she was going to make it. But, fortunately, Maddox did pull through and survived. Now, she feels extremely lucky to be alive today. She encourages others who find themselves in a similar situation as hers to seek help immediately so they can hopefully prevent something like this from happening again.
“If you think there’s anything wrong with your body, go see somebody,” said Maddox on her advice to others. “Because if I didn’t go see somebody, anything could have happened.”