Sherri Maddox never fathomed that a spider would cause her life to flash before her eyes. But, this Virginia native experienced just that when she was bitten by the venomous arachnid on the lip and faced hallucinations as well as hospitalization in order to cope with its harmful effects. The venom caused her lips to swell up considerably more than their normal size!

While Maddox was kayaking her way along the Staunton River in pursuit of a ten-hour course, she became victim to an unsuspecting bite from a brown recluse spider. Initially disregarding the discomfort, it quickly become evident that this venomous arachnid posed far more dangerous than initially anticipated; yet despite the severity of its potential consequences, Maddox bravely persevered through her journey with determination and grit.

Maddox’s pain had escalated by the next day, so she decided to visit a healthcare provider and got some antibiotics. Unfortunately, they did not bring her desired relief; instead, the area around her lip kept swelling more and more. Soon it was obvious that Maddox’s issue was much graver than originally thought.

“I’m almost 50, and I’ve been floating in the Staunton River since I could swim, six years old,” Maddox said. “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.”

She continued, “They told me they weren’t sure if I was going to make it, and I thought I wasn’t going to live through the night when they first told me. It looked like a big ol’ balloon on my face.”

After being admitted to the hospital, Maddox was diagnosed with a brown recluse spider bite. As soon as it was identified, she received antibiotics to combat any bacteria left behind by its venomous fangs. In addition, surgery on her lip was necessary in order to rid herself of all dead tissue from the same spot.

Upon hearing the news from her physicians that there was uncertainty about her prognosis, Maddox candidly shared with WRIC News in an interview:

“I thought I wasn’t going to live through the night when they first told me. It looked like a big ol’ balloon on my face.”

Thankfully, Maddox successfully overcame the odds and is alive today. She emphatically encourages those in similar predicaments to seek urgent assistance so that they can avoid a tragic outcome like hers.

“If you think there’s anything wrong with your body, go see somebody,” Maddox shared her sage advice with others. “Because if I didn’t go see somebody, anything could have happened.”

What are your thoughts about this potentially lethal spider bite?