A trainee medic has been left barely able to walk and in excruciating pain for six months due to a mysterious spider bite.
Jasmine Harris, 21, woke with a small puncture wound like two pin pricks on her lower right leg one Sunday in May.
She coated it with antiseptic cream but it became increasingly painful and grew in size.
Harris, of Chichester, West Sussex, went to the hospital and was given antibiotics as doctors suspected it was a mosquito bite.
But in the following days she lost the ability to walk properly and the bite became a huge ulcer.
Tests identified potentially-fatal PVL-positive Staphylococcus aureus, a soft tissue infection which causes recurrent and invasive infections.
Harris said she is now unable to walk for more than 15 minutes without crippling pain and the injury has ruined her life.
She is in limbo with no indication of when it could finally heal, despite a cocktail of strong prescription drugs including morphine.
She suffers night terrors and is confined to her home after being signed off work.
“It has ruined my whole life. I have become uncomfortable, paranoid and feel ugly,” Harris said. “I have a limp and I’m living in pajamas and trackie bottoms. I have nightmares about it never healing most nights and see myself never being able to walk properly again.”
“I haven’t had a bath in six months but can shower with my leg covered,” she said. “I want more help because doctors don’t know why it isn’t healing up.”
“When I went to the doctor’s in May, I told them I was going on a two-week cruise in September,” Harris said. “They said ‘Not to worry – it will definitely have healed by then because you are a young woman.’ But it didn’t and I was determined to still go as it was the Canary Islands and we’d paid a lot of money.”
“I sat in the sun but had to keep it covered at all times and I couldn’t go swimming when it was 30C,” she said.
Harris said her boyfriend, Brian Carter, 31, has been “amazing” during her ordeal and she would have struggled without him.
But he is at work for 10 hours per day as an accountant leaving her home alone after she was signed off from her job in a doctor’s surgery two months ago.
She now hopes alternative treatment overseas will help.
“It’s absolutely horrendous – I wouldn’t want anyone else to experience pain like this,” Harris said.