A mum-of-four nearly lost her leg when she was bitten by Britain’s most venomous spider – which climbed into her BED.
Aideen Hynes, 34, had just slipped between the sheets when a False Widow sank its fangs into her calf.
She leapt out of bed and threw back the covers but couldn’t see the offending spider which had quickly scurried away.
But the venom quickly spread up her leg and she was rushed to hospital in agony as her leg swelled to twice its normal size.
Doctors feared they would have to cut away the infected flesh as the poison spread down into her ankle and foot.
But luckily intensive treatment with antihistamines and antibiotics worked and she has made a full recovery.
Aideen – who ironically used to run a reptile shop – said: “I felt something crawling on my leg under the duvet and tried to brush it off.
“It must have thought it was under attack because the next minute it bit me. The pain was agonising.
“Darrin knew immediately from the puncture marks that it as a spider bite.
“We turned the bedroom upside down but we couldn’t find it anywhere. I didn’t get a wink of sleep.
“I was having spasms where my leg would shake uncontrollably every five minutes.”
The bite happened shortly after Aideen climbed into bed at her home in County Down, Northern Ireland, on July 1.
She went to the pharmacy the following day but was advised to see her GP – who immediately referred her to Downe Hospital in Downpatrick.
Doctors were concerned that due to the speed the venom was spreading it would soon start attacking her muscles, and they would have to perform an emergency operation to cut the infected flesh away.
After being prescribed antihistamines and a course of antibiotics the flesh-eating venom continued to spread to her ankle and feet.
Aideen said: “My leg was completely swollen and it was scabbing over – it was oozing with puss and I couldn’t walk. It was awful.
“I had to be given crutches. I thought I was going to lose my leg.
“It got so painful I was ready to chop off my own leg.”
Aideen was given four courses of antibiotics and had to go the GP every day for three weeks to have the wounds cleaned and redressed.
She said: “It’s finally getting better now, but for a while it was touch and go.”
Luckily her husband Darrin, 35, managed to catch the culprit.
“Darrin eventually caught the spider and set him free on a field behind our house,” Aideen said.