Mum’s warning after losing all feeling in her leg after being bitten by Britain’s most venomous spider

WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES Delyth Hughes, 29, from Denbighshire, believes she was bitten by a Mock Widow spider while she was outside on her family’s farm

A general view of a false widow spider at Drusillas Zoo Park in Alfriston, near Eastbourne.
A false widow, one of Britain’s most venomous spiders, is said to have been responsible for the mother-of-two’s agony

A mother has issued a warning after being left with shocking injuries from Britain’s most venomous spider.

Delyth Hughes suffered what she believes to be a spider bite and within hours of it happening she lost feeling in her left leg as it began to fill with pus.

The mother of two became nauseous and dizzy, and over the following days the bite site turned blue and discolored.

Her leg went numb as she experienced tingling and pin pricks, causing concern among friends and family. North Wales Live Reports .

The mother, from Prestatyn, Denbighshire, said: “They persuaded me to have it checked. I’m glad I did, or it could have ended differently for me if the poison had spread through my body.”

From left: the wound on day one, the wound when Delyth came to the hospital, and the wound that was bathed



The 29-year-old believes she was bitten while sitting next to her father in his tractor at the family farm in Caerwys, Flintshire.

She remembered the “sensation” of something crawling on her leg, but she didn’t see a spider or feel the pain of a bite.

She added: “My leg really hurt. It was throbbing and I felt nauseous. I had terrible headaches and suffered from dizzy spells.”

Examining her leg, she found two tiny stab wounds side by side.

The bite site bruised quickly and continued to swell over the next few days.

This picture was taken just hours after the suspected bite



On the advice of friends, she began bathing her leg for relief. It did not work. “My leg was still numb with a kind of tingling sensation,” said the single mom.

Five days after the bite, Delyth secured an appointment at Holywell Community Hospital. The wound was punctured, the pus drained and antibiotic tablets prescribed.

“The staff told me I was lucky I came when I came as the poison was still in my blood,” she said. “I was told to let it sit for a few days and if it didn’t get better I would have to have antibiotics intravenously.”

It is believed that the pus came from a secondary infection after the bite. As Delyth was to discover, she wasn’t the only victim.

“The hospital staff told me they had seen a few people with the same symptoms recently. They suspected they were all caused by spider bites – probably by a fake widow.”

Delyth Hughes’ leg filled with pus and was bruised and discolored for days



False widow spiders are the UK’s most venomous spiders. Their bite can be uncomfortable but is usually no worse than a wasp sting.

A few years ago, a 33-year-old man from Rhyl was left with a “oozing hole” in his elbow after being bitten by a fake widow.

Similarly, former Wrexham AFC striker James Gray spent time in hospital after the spider sank its fangs into his arm.

Symptoms can include pain, swelling, nausea, tremors, and changes in blood pressure, experts say.

Michel Dugon, of the National University of Ireland in Galway, told the Daily Star: “In addition to their medicinally significant venom, noble false widows are extremely competitive. This species is here to stay and we must learn to live with it.”

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It took Delyth 12 weeks for the bruising to fade and the swelling to go down.

Although she has been told that her injury may have been caused by a fake widow spider, she has no way of knowing for sure: While spider bites can leave distinctive fang marks, they are usually too small to be clearly visible to the human eye.

Other bugs also bite, from ants to flies, and they can leave multiple marks resembling fang wounds.

All Delyth knows for sure is that she suffered a painful injury as a result, which could have ended worse than she did.

Since it happened in June 2020, she has made a full recovery and gave birth to her second child 10 months ago.

“My advice to anyone who has been bitten is to go and have it checked out,” she said. “Had it not been for my friends, I might have stopped until it was too late.”

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