A MUM-of-one has told how she almost lost her leg after being bitten by a mystery critter during a girls’ holiday to Benidorm.
Faye Wilkes, 41, from Dartford, Kent, was sunbathing by the hotel pool with her sister Carrie, 43, when she felt a bug bite her left foot.
She swiftly batted the pest away and sprayed herself with insect repellent to prevent further bites.
The personal assistant told Fabulous Digital: “I felt like I had been stabbed in my left leg. It instantly began burning up and I thought it was probably just a silly mosquito bite, so I went into the pool to cool it off.
“But as I went in, my leg started to burn up more and my toes began bleeding, which I thought was odd, but dismissed it until the next morning, as I didn’t want to waste anybody’s time.”
Faye and Carrie had booked the Spanish trip to cheer themselves up after losing their dad Raymond, 66, to lung cancer. But it quickly turned into the holiday from hell.
Four days into their break, Faye’s condition worsened. She said: “I woke up in the middle of the night with a shooting pain up and down my leg and when I tried to stand up to get to the bathroom, I collapsed on the floor.
“I had to call a doctor out, as there was no way I could walk to the hospital on my own and I knew I needed help right away – but he gave me some anti-inflammatory tablets and told me to get to the hospital as soon as possible.”
I felt like I had been stabbed in my left leg. It instantly began burning upFaye Wilkes
Faye claims doctors at the Spanish hospital refused to take her seriously. She said: “After it started scabbing and I had difficulty walking, I knew I needed to get help, but the Spanish doctors just fobbed me off as another ‘British drunk’ who had fallen over. I was horrified.
“I was in so much pain and when the doctor came back to tell me the X-ray looked like I just had a sprained ankle, I was furious. They sent me back to the hotel with a pair of crutches.”
Faye and Carrie cut short their holiday three days early to seek medical help in the UK.
Upon arrival at Gatwick airport, she was rushed to East Surrey Hospital where doctors told her it was likely to be necrotising fasciitis, which is when bacteria enters a wound, that had developed into sepsis.
Doctors in the UK said I would have died – or would have at least needed my limb amputated if I didn’t get treatment within 24 hoursFaye Wilkes
Faye said: “I trusted my gut instinct and flew home straight away and I’m glad I did, as doctors in the UK said I would have died – or would have at least needed my limb amputated if I didn’t get treatment within 24 hours.
“I was absolutely horrified, as I didn’t think a measly bite from a bug in Benidorm would result in sepsis, let alone the loss of my leg.
“Luckily, they were able to flush out the infection without having to do any invasive surgery, but I still feel incredibly weak.
“They couldn’t find the bug in my system, so were unable to work out which one caused me to have sepsis, but I’m glad that I went to the hospital when I did, as I was close to death.”
After taking seven different antibiotics and spending over four months in intensive care, the infection cleared up – but Faye is still traumatised by the ordeal.
She said: “Although they got rid of the infection, my foot and leg is still scarred and my circulation is awful, so I have to keep it propped up near enough 24/7.
“I have a community nurse that visits me every three months to check my leg and my blood pressure, to make sure that it doesn’t drop, as that could be a sign that the infection is back.
“I think it was either a dirty spider or mosquito that brought this pain and distress upon me – but I will never know.
“The main thing is that I’m alive and I still have my left leg and foot – but I know I still have a long way to go until I’m out of the woods.”
Despite the ordeal Faye has endured, she still hopes to go on holiday once she is fully recovered.
In more real life news, a student’s lip was bitten off in a horrific attack by her boyfriend.
An a woman bitten by a false widow spider has a oozing hole in her armpit.