Girl seconds from death after being bitten by UK’s most venomous spider

A false widow spider got into her bedroom


A 20-year-old nearly died after being bitten by the UK’s most venomous spider – just weeks after getting a tattoo of a tarantula. 

Courtney Mates had a severe allergic reaction following a bite from a false widow spider.

She was just seconds from death before paramedics saved her life.

Courtney from Chelmsford spotted the spider in her bedroom and noticed a small red mark on the inside of her knee the following morning.

Courtney said: “I saw the spider and the ceilings are quite high so I couldn’t get to it.

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Courtney had to be saved by paramedics after the spider bite

She added: “It was dark red with a skull mark on the body and a few had been in our house for a while.

“My trousers were rubbing against it at work so I went to the nurse at work who gave me some antihistamine.

“An hour and a half later I started falling unconscious and I was hearing high pitched noises in my ears.”

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Courtney took a photo of the false widow spider in her bedroom

Despite her boss’ attempts trying to help, Courtney went into anaphylactic shock and struggled to breathe.

She said: “We had to call the paramedics and they said I had all the symptoms of a bite from a false widow.

Courtney had five days of blurred vision and difficulty staying on two feet and warned people to be on the lookout for false widows.

She explained: “I went into anaphylaxis and had to have and ECG and adrenaline because my chest got really tight and my throat started closing up.

“I had to wait for the adrenaline to kick in and then I could breathe.”

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She had an anaphylactic shock and struggled to breathe

“Over the next 48 hours I was tired to the point that I couldn’t get out of bed and I felt really ill.

She said: “The paramedics said if a child got bitten they would struggles to get rid of the toxins and it would be a lot worse for them.

“If I didn’t have adrenaline then I would have been in trouble and I have to carry an epi-pen around with me.”

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Courtney got a tattoo of a tarantula just weeks before the bite