PAULDING COUNTY, Ga. - A Paulding County woman is recovering from major surgery after being bitten by a brown recluse spider at her home.
“I would have never known in a million years that a spider could ever do this much damage,” said Victoria Franklin.
Franklin was at WellStar Windy Hill Hospital Friday morning, recovering from an April mastectomy.
“I didn’t flip out over that. I was glad to be alive,” she said of her surgery.
She found out she lost her left breast when the hospital staff told her after she woke up from an 11-day coma.
“She said, ‘You’re in ICU and you’ve lost your breast from a spider bite.’ I said, ‘What?!,’” said Franklin.
Doctors told her she’d been bitten by a brown recluse spider. Franklin said she first noticed lumps on her breast on Easter Sunday but didn’t think much of it. As the days progressed, she began to feel much worse. By Friday, she couldn’t take the pain anymore.
“My breast had turned black and it got so big, I couldn’t even fit it in my bra,” said Franklin. “I woke up in excruciating pain and the smell was so strong I couldn’t do anything but call my friend and say, ‘Please come get me,’” said Franklin.
She got to the emergency room but the gangrene had already set it and the breast and muscle had to be removed.
Doctors identified the brown recluse spider as the culprit.
Franklin will undergo breast reconstructive surgery. She will also have to learn to walk again.
She urged others to head to the doctor at the first sign of a bite instead of waiting like she did.