A gardener feared she would lose her foot after suffering an allergic reaction when her foot was bitten by a snake.
Laura Hockley, 37, was wearing flip flops as she cleared weeds from her garden when she felt the fangs plunge into her left foot.
She said the swelling spread up to the middle of her shin after she was turned away twice from Queen’s Hospital in Romford, east London.
The hospital since apologised and admitted it can be hard to diagnose snakebites in the UK because of their rarity.
After her third trip she was put on an IV drip and given a course of anti-venom and antibiotics to reduce the affects.
Laura from Noak Hill, east London, said: “I had stung my hand already on stinging nettles and I thought I just had put my foot down on more stinging nettles.
“I didn’t think much of it for five minutes then I thought, ‘Jesus Christ that’s hurting’.
“I said to my friend, ‘I think I have been bitten by a snake‘.
“She looked on her phone and said, ‘Let’s get to hospital’.
“It was the first time I have worn flip-flops in the garden. Obviously I got too close to it and it’s just struck.
“We went to Queen’s and waited for a while, then saw a doctor who laughed in my face and said, ‘No way is it a snakebite’.”
After she was stung on July 25 she paid two visits to the hospital where doctors failed to diagnose it as a snakebite.
On the third visit, on July 27, after her leg began to swell, a medic accepted she had been bitten by a snake, which Laura believes was an Adder.
Laura said: “I actually thought I was going to lose my foot at one point. It was getting so swollen.”
Queen’s Hospital apologised for the time it took to diagnose the snake bite.
Nadeem Moghal, the hospital’s medical director, said: “On each visit to our emergency department Ms Hockley was assessed and treated by a doctor.
“We’re sorry that she wasn’t diagnosed immediately, however snake bites are very rare in the UK and can be difficult to diagnose.
“We’ve no record that she has complained to us about her treatment. We always encourage patients bring any issues to us so we can look into them, which helps us continue to improve our services.
“We’re pleased Ms Hockley was full of praise for the team who looked after her on her final visit.”