A ten-year-old Australian schoolgirl has stunned doctors by surviving a “horrific” box jellyfish sting sustained in Queensland in December.
Rachel Shardlow was pulled from a river after the sting, with the toxic tentacles still clinging to her limbs. Shardlow lost the ability to see and then breathe before losing consciousness. She remained unconscious for thirty minutes, and doctors put the girl in a medically induced coma when she arrived for treatment.
Jamie Seymour, a Zoology and tropical ecology associate professor at James Cook University, told press that injuries like those Rachel received usually prove to be fatal.
“When I first saw the pictures of the injuries I just went, ‘you know to be honest, this kid should not be alive’. Usually when you see people who have been stung by box jellyfish with that number of the tentacle contacts on their body, it’s in a morgue.”
Geoff Shardlow, Rachel’s father, told press that his daughter still suffers from memory loss and has some scars. However, her cognitive abilities seem to have remained intact:
“The greatest fear was actual brain damage [but] her cognitive skills and memory tests were all fine,” he said.