REAL LIFE

Adelaide woman PARALYSED by a white-tail spider hiding in her UGG BOOT

She was left 'trapped in her own body'
Supplied

An Adelaide charity founder has told of her incredible journey after a white-tail spider bite left her paralysed and fighting for life.

Naomi Lambert, 38, spent years learning to walk after she was left ‘trapped in her own body’.

In 2008, Lambert was putting on her Ugg boots in the bedroom of her parents’ home in Adelaide when she was bitten by a venomous white-tail spider.

In most cases the bite, although painful, would resolve itself in a few weeks.

But Lambert developed a bacterial infection called cellulitis and ended up in the Royal Adelaide Hospital.

The infection soon turned into an abscess and, after three weeks in hospital, evolved into something more sinister.

“I started coughing and having real difficulties with my breathing,” Lambert told 7NEWS.com.au.

“Mum could see how I was in such a state and so exhausted.

“I tried to pick up a band-aid and it felt like lifting kilos.”

One day, while Lambert’s mum was beside her, she stopped breathing.

She was placed into ICU within minutes.

Lambert had developed Guillain-Barré syndrome, a rare immune deficiency triggered by the cellulitis from the bite.

“Everything had shut down, I wasn’t moving,” Lambert said.

It was a living nightmare.

“I would have panic attacks, but couldn’t communicate what I was panicking about.

“It was a living nightmare.”

She spent months at the Royal Adelaide, learning to move again one tiny area at a time.

“At first it was just a flicker of my little toe, and mum was like, ‘That’s so exciting!’,” she said.

LEARNING TO WALK AGAIN

Eventually, Lambert regained enough control to be placed in a wheelchair and moved to rehab, where she spent nine months learning to walk again.

“I don’t even know where I found the strength to do it, I had four people trying to lift me up,” she said.

She says once she took her first steps, everything changed.

“I could see things were getting better.

“That’s what saved me.”

Lambert had to take weekly injections of intravenous immunoglobulin for seven years, finally finishing in 2015.

Naomi Lambert spent years learning to walk again after a freak spider bite left her 'trapped in her own body'.
Naomi Lambert spent years learning to walk again after a freak spider bite left her ‘trapped in her own body’. (Credit: Supplied)

COOL TO BE KIND

Now, she pours her energy into the Cool To Be Kind Project – a charity encouraging random acts of kindness worldwide.

“I wanted to see if there were still kind people in the world,” she said.

Lambert designed and hid ‘kindness cards’ in random places around Perth that encouraged people to undertake a random act of kindness in the lead-up to Christmas in 2017.

She hopes the project will help others connect and realise the importance of kindness.

You can learn more about the project here.

This story originally appeared on 7NEWS and has been re-published here with permission. 

Related stories