A Kansas City woman thought she had an ear infection, but when she went to have her ear examined the doctor ran out of the room after taking one look inside her ear canal. The doctor was not only frightened by what she thought she saw inside the woman’s ear, but also wanted a second opinion. Soon, a whole team of medical staff entered the room.
Susie Torres, the patient, says she did not panic at that time. She had been under the impression that it was simply swimmer’s ear, a common infection that occurs when water gets lodged inside an ear. Nothing could have prepared her for what the doctor, now informed by a team of medical professionals, told her.
“She then said, ‘I think you have an insect in there.'”, Torres explained to 41 Action News in Kansas City. After further examination, they concluded it was actually something far worse than an insect. It was something that anyone who has lived in the American Midwest is all too familiar with, and all terrified of.
Susie Torres had a brown recluse spider in her ear. Brown recluse spiders are one the world’s most venomous spiders. Considered more dangerous than even the Black Widow, their toxic bite may be second only to the Brazilian Wandering spider or the Atrax robustus of Australia. Known for the infamous violin shape on their cephalothorax, the brown recluse spider’s bite contains hemotoxic venom that kills red blood cells and causes necrosis of the skin. That is, their bites kill skin and any other affected human tissue. One bite in the wrong place could leave a hole where healthy skin and muscle used to be.
Luckily for Torres, the brown recluse was extracted from her ear without any further incident. Plus, she miraculously wasn’t bitten by the spider. However, she was traumatized by the event and is currently taking precautions to prevent a similar incident from ever happening again.
“I went and put some cotton balls in my ear last night, because I did not have any ear plugs,” Torres said. “I’m pretty terrified of spiders.”