Mum left unable to hug her children after being bitten by spider
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A mum of two has been left unable to hug her children after being bitten by a highly venomous spider that left her in agonising pain.
Jenna Allen, 28, was helping with flood relief in her hometown of Donald in Victoria, Australia back in 2014, where she reached into a box only to be bitten by the deadly Redback spider - also known as the Australian black widow.
Eight years on, Jenna has been stuck paying $1,300 (£760) per week on medical bills and is unable to hug her own children until a cure is found due to the severe pain she is in.
Within seconds of being bitten, Jenna's arm broke out in goosebumps, and she suffered from stomach cramps and vomiting.
After being admitted into intensive care with two doses of antivenom, Jenna was transferred to the Bendigo Hospital, where she stayed for two months and had a skin graft.
Jenna's skin graft worked at first, but around the one-year mark, a mosquito bite-sized pinprick resurfaced and burst, leaving her in unbearable pain.
Now, not only does her unhealed wound need to be constantly re-bandaged, but medics have detected pre-cancerous cells inside it.
Because Jenna's condition is so out of the ordinary, Medicare - Australia's national health service - doesn't cover the extortionate costs she's facing to have her injury re-dressed every week.
While Jenna has gotten to the stage where she can re-dress her own wounds, she still has to take a seven-hour round trip once a week to get it done by the professionals.
"I am constantly worried about how I'm going to afford my next bandage," Jenna said.
"I have even re-washed and re-used a bandage before because I didn't know how I would afford my next one. All of my bandages get put on a payment plan, so I am constantly in debt."
On top of the weekly re-dressings, Jenna must also go for a deep skin biopsy four times per year.
After visiting 'countless doctors and medics', Jenna has been left without answers.
“It is taking a huge emotional mental and emotional toll on my family and loved ones - I just want to be able to hold my children and give them hugs."
For now, the best option for Jenna is to get another skin graft on her arm, but this might not be possible if her wound continues to fluctuate in size.
To help her fund the astronomical medical costs she's currently facing and hopefully one day 'beat the bite', Jenna's friends have set up a GoFundMe page.
“I am really running out of options, and I am so thankful to those who donate but so much of the costs I have to cover myself," she said.
“I hope one day to train to be a paramedic so I can help others in need. Going through this has opened my eyes as I have experienced so much, and it has made me a better person.”
You can donate to Jenna's fundraiser here.