British holidaymaker scarred for life by jellyfish in Thailand
A woman was stung by jellyfish just hours after she arrived at a luxury resort in Thailand for a holiday.
The Daily Mail reports how Sam Webster, 37, suffered third degree burns and was left with horrific scarring after falling from a banana boat and being attacked by the dangerous animals.
The mum of one, from Solihull, feared she was being eaten by a shark and said the stings felt like 'hundreds of razors' slicing through her leg.
The attack left Sam close to drowning and her partner jumped into the water to save her.
Sam spent the rest of her holiday in hospital and since returning to Britain she has undergone two operations and will need further skin grafts to repair her leg.
She was forced to take four months off from her job as a council manager after and wants to warn other British tourists travelling to Thailand.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, she said: 'I am scarred for life but just pleased to be alive and relieved that it wasn't my daughter that got stung.
'The pain was so bad I honestly thought I had been attacked by a shark. I've been through months of hell since this happened. I never realised a jellyfish sting could be so life changing. I want to warn others.'
Soon after she arrived at her resort in Thailand, Sam took her six-year-old daughter Ella on a banana boat ride to cool down after their trip, as her partner Dave Stanley watched from the shore.
Sam fell off the ride into the water and was waiting for the driver to return for her when she was stung.
'One minute I was laughing and splashing about, the next it felt like hundreds of razors were being sliced through my leg,' she says.
'I was screaming and panicking so much I started floundering in the water. I thought if I wasn't eaten I would drowned anyway, but luckily my partner saw and dived in to pull me back to shore.'
As Sam was pulled out of the water, locals gathered round and poured cold drinks on her leg, which was covered in red blisters.
'I heard them saying it was a jellyfish sting but I was in shock. It felt like my leg had been dipped in acid,' she added.
Sam was treated with antibiotics and painkillers at a local clinic and the next morning she tried to ignore the pain as the family had booked a rainforest excursion, but during the drive her leg started to swell and the red blisters turned black.
She said: 'Dave was looking very worried and insisting I needed to be seen but by now we were deep in the rainforest.'
The guide took Sam to a tiny hospital in the rainforest, where there were lizards on the walls.
'Of course I didn't expect the standard of hospitals we are used to at home but I was shocked to see the wildlife inside. There were no sheets and blood on the floor. I was terrified.'
A transfer to a bigger, private hospital six hours away in Phuket was arranged by her tour operator. It was here that medics confirmed that Sam had suffered third degree burns from a jellyfish sting.
'I was admitted for a week and they started clearing the spines out of my leg. It was agony. I insisted Dave and Ella stay at the hotel, I didn't want to spoil their trip. There was no phone reception so I couldn't even speak to them.
'It was supposed to be the holiday of a lifetime but I had to lie in bed watching English war films.'
While at the hospital there was an earthquake but nobody was hurt and Sam was later reunited with her family.
After flying back to England she was admitted to hospital immediately where surgeons removed the top layer of skin. Weeks later she had a second operation to remove the damaged tissue underneath.
Sam spent the next three months recovering from the surgery on crutches and has just recently been able to return to work.
'It was meant to be the trip of a lifetime but it turned into a real nightmare,' she told the Daily Mail.
'I'll never be able to wear shorts again and will need skin grafts in the future to help the scarring but knowing what I know now about jellyfish stings I was lucky. I could have died.
'I want to warn others travelling in Thailand so it doesn't happen to them. I honestly wish we had gone to Cornwall or Weymouth instead.'
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