Welsh swimmer's ear pain caused by live spider inside her

By Ben Hooper  |  June 9, 2016 at 2:58 PM
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PORTHCAWL, Wales, June 9 (UPI) -- A Welsh mother who experienced more than a day of severe pain after swimming went to a hospital where a nurse pulled a live spider out of her ear.

Porthcawl resident Victoria Price, 42, a member of the Newton Lifeguard Club, said her ear started hurting recently shortly after one of her near-daily swims in the sea.

"I got out of the shower and the pain in my ear was just incredible. I was like Irish dancing around the bathroom. I didn't know what to do with myself," Price told the Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board. "I assumed I had trapped water or I'd perforated an eardrum or something."

Price said the pain continued and she asked her husband, Hew, to look inside her ear the following night.

"There's something alive in there," Price quoted her husband as saying.

The couple took their daughter to her grandparents' house and headed for Princess of Wales Hospital.

"I saw the triage nurse and told her, 'There's something alive in there, apparently. I thought it was an infection but my husband says he can see something alive,'" Price said. "She took the cotton wool out, shone in the light and said 'OK' and then went off to find someone who would take it out."   Emergency nurse practitioner Sarah Gaze used forceps to extract the spider, which was indeed still alive.

"It was very straightforward. The spider was visible in Victoria's inner ear and it came out quite easily," Gaze said. "But it was alive and very wriggly. It was quite big too. It must have been twice as big as it first looked."   "Victoria was very brave -- braver than me. I didn't find it a pleasant experience at all but it was my job so I had to overcome my fear," the nurse said.

Price said the experience hasn't left her with a new found fear of spiders, nor any other nasty surprises.

"There was no further damage -- or any eggs laid, as everyone keeps asking me," Price said.

Price theorized the spider might have been inside the hood of her sweatshirt when she donned the garment after her swim. She said it might have then made its way into her hair.

"When I went into the shower the first thing it wanted to do is find somewhere warm and dry so it went into my ear," she said.

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