A mum is lucky to be alive after she was attacked by a stingray – and stabbed in the FOOT.
Dawn North, 44, accidentally stepped on the animal while on a dream holiday in Khao Lak, Thailand, and was jabbed through her foot with the painful and poisonous barb.
Dawn, from Blythe Bridge, Staffordshire, says she is lucky to be alive after the attack by the same type fish which killed legendary crocodile hunter Steve Irwin.
The mum-of-three was enjoying a dip in the crystal clear water five days into her trip on March 2 when she felt a searing pain and saw her leg was covered in blood.
Dawn, a police control room worker, said: “I was walking into the crystal clear water and enjoying the view when I felt a searing pain on the bottom of my foot and screamed out in agony.
“I thought that I’d been bitten by something and didn’t realise how bad it was until I lifted my leg out – and there was blood everywhere.
“Concerned I’d become shark bait if I stayed bleeding in the water, I screamed and shouted and my boyfriend Dave, 55, to come get me.
“He managed to swim over and carry me out of the water and dumped me on the sand.
“People on the beach were trying to tell me that I had stepped on glass but I knew that wasn’t the case.
“I had two stab wounds at the bottom of my foot that were bleeding profusely.”
Dawn was rushed to a nearby medical centre where she was stabilised and medics rushed to find out what was wrong with her.
She said: “It didn’t seem as if anyone knew what was wrong with me, until the consultant went away to Google my symptoms.”
“By this time, I was losing a lot of blood from my left foot, my vision was going and I was feeling nauseous.
“The doctor came back and said that I had been stung by the barb of a stingray and I needed to go to hospital right away.”
The mum was put in the back of an ambulance and blue lighted to the nearest hospital – more than two hours away in Phuket.
Dawn spent two days at the Phuket Hospital where she was given antibiotics, antihistamines and morphine.
After she was stabilised, Dawn tells how doctors told her that she was lucky to be alive.
She said: “A doctor told me that I was a lucky girl, and the only reason I was alive was because it was a juvenile stingray and it attacked my foot, meaning that the poison didn’t have a chance to get further up my system.”
The mum returned to the UK on March 5 and went straight to The Royal Stoke hospital.
She said: “I went straight to A&E to be treated back in the UK and they didn’t have a clue how to treat me.
“But they were brilliant, I had to wear a full knee to toe bandage for about two months to stop blood clots and had a district nurse come to my house every day to treat me.”
The mum had to take three months off work to recover from the injury and needed physiotherapy once a week to strengthen her leg.
She added: “It was a really really traumatic event that I hope never happens again, it is a warning to all holidaymakers that you can never know what is hiding in the deep waiting to attack you.
“My kids were absolutely horrified by what had happened, but were so helpful around the house when I was out of action.
“But I can see the fun side of it and every time I tell a friend they are in absolute awe of the story.
“At least I have a fun story to go with the scars, but I’m not sure that I’ll be stepping into tropical water any time soon.”