A MUM has told of her horror after she accidentally trod on a stingray on holiday in Thailand.
Dawn North suffered searing pain when her foot was stabbed by the deadly creature’s poisoned barb.
She said: “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.
“I was concerned I’d become shark bait if I stayed bleeding in the water.
“I screamed and shouted to my boyfriend Dave to come get me.
“He managed to swim over and carry me out of the water and dumped me on the sand.”
Dawn, 44, inset, a police control room worker, still had no idea she’d been attacked by a stingray – the creature that killed legendary Australian “Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin in 2006.
Her ordeal was made worse because hardly anyone on the beach spoke English.
She said: “People on the beach were trying to tell me that I’d 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.”
Staff at her hotel carried her off the beach and into reception, from where a taxi took her to a medical centre.
She said: “I had no idea what was going on, but I had overheard that I was being taken to a doctor.
“It didn’t seem as if anyone knew what was wrong with me, until the consultant went away to look up my symptoms on the internet.
“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.”
Dawn was taken by ambulance to a hospital more than two hours away in Phuket, where she spent two days and was treated with antibiotics, antihistamines and morphine.
She said: “A doctor told me that I was a lucky girl.
“They said that the only reason I was alive was because it was a juvenile stingray and it attacked my foot.
“It meant that the poison didn’t have a chance to get further up my system.”
Dawn, of Blythe Bridge, Staffs, who is mum to Lewis, 16, Joel, 14, and Maddie, 13, had to take three months off work and needed physiotherapy to strengthen her leg.
She added: “It was a 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.
“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.”
TV presenter Irwin was filming a documentary off the coast of Queensland, Australia, when he was attacked aged just 44.
A short-tail stingray swimming below him suddenly speared him through the chest with its daggerlike tail spine.
The poisonous stinger punctured Irwin’s heart, killing him almost instantly.
The death was captured on video by cameraman Justin Lyons.
He recalled: “It started stabbing wildly with its tail – hundreds of strikes within a few seconds.
“It wasn’t until I panned the camera back… Steve was standing in a huge pool of blood.” – Star