Arachnophobes, stop reading right now.
Because this is the story of a teenager with a severe fear of spiders being bitten by Britain’s deadliest arachnid - the false widow spider - an eye-watering SEVEN times.
Charley Porter was putting on her nightgown at the family home in Ferring, West Sussex, when she suddenly felt stabs of agonizing pain in her shoulder.
Charley Porter was bitten by a false widow spider seven times
The pain was so great the 17-year-old had to be cut out of her nightgown by her mother and was later taken to hospital after paramedics found she had an irregular heartbeat, brought on by the bites.
The family is now living elsewhere as they wait for their home to be fumigated on the advice of a spider expert who warned there could be a nest in Charley's room.
The archaeology student said: “It was literally my worst nightmare because I hate spiders.
A false widow spider
"It took my parents at least 20 minutes to calm me down, there was a lot of screaming. My arm is still hot and hurting now.
"My arm can sometimes go numb like when you have been injected with a needle. It was agony - it went completely red and my lips swelled up."
Charley was treated with antibiotics and antihistamines at Worthing Hospital in West Sussex.
Her mother Patricia Porter, 60, said: "The bites were really horrendous and blistery. It was like something out of a horror film."
Charley was taken to hospital after the bites were found to have brought on an irregular heartbeat
False widow spiders are the most venomous in the UK though they are not believed to be responsible for any deaths.
They are around the size of a 50p piece, have cream markings on their brown, reddish bodies and orangey legs.
False widow spiders have thought to have entered the UK via fruit shipments in the 1870s. Recently, the number of spiders has increased due to warm weather, wildlife experts say.
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