10 Year Old Girl Survives Deadly Box Jellyfish Sting

April 27th, 2010 - 11:59 pm ICT by Angela Kaye Mason  

Apr 27 (THAINDIAN NEWS) One expert is stating that medical history may have been rewritten by the little girl who recently survived an attack from a deadly box jelly fish. She was not only stung by the jelly fish, but the tentacles enveloped her-more than most grown men would be able to survive.

Ten year old Rachel Shardlow is far more than a survivor, she is a miracle. Last December the young girl was swimming in the Calliope River near Gladstone, Australia with her 13 year old brother when she tangled with the box jelly fish. The creature wrapped it’s tentacles around the girl’s limbs and would not let go. She told her brother that she was unable to see or breathe, and the creature squeezed tighter, until she was unconscious.

“Usually when you see people who have been stung by box jellyfish with that number of the tentacle contacts on their body, it’s usually in a morgue,” Jamie Seymour, a zoology and tropical ecology associate professor at James Cook University told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. “I don’t know of anybody in the entire literature where we’ve studied this where someone has had such an extensive sting that has survived,” Seymour told ABC. “When I first saw the pictures of the injuries I just went, ‘you know to be honest, this kid should not be alive’. I mean they are horrific. From our point of view, it’s really useful information that you very seldom, if ever, get your hands on.” Seymour and other Queensland researchers received a 40,000 dollar grant to study these creatures and look for treatments for it’s victims.

Considered the world’s most venomous creature, the box jelly fish has long, trailing tentacles, and can squeeze through the smallest of nets. Often found in The Great Barrier Reef, the box jelly fish can have up to 15 tentacles on each corner of it’s body. Each tentacle can have up to 5000 stinging cells. The venom which comes from these cells is so extremely painful that the victims often go into shock and drown or die of a heart attack before they can even be saved from the water. There is currently no anti-venom for it’s sting, which can attack the heart, central nervous system, skin, and muscles, causing shooting pain to flow through the muscle tissues. Vomiting and quickly rising blood pressure are also symptoms from a box jelly fish’s sting.

After being rescued from the water by her 13 year old brother, with the tentacles still wrapped around her legs, Rachel was rushed to the hospital where she spent the next 6 weeks in recovery. The girl’s dad, Geoff Shardlow told ABC News that Rachel had made it through the ordeal with scars on her legs and some short term memory loss. The impossible survival was nothing short of a miracle. No one has ever been stung to the extend that she was and survived.

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