A mother who fell into ‘the most dangerous plant on earth’ says she endured excruciating pain for months
Naomi Lewis endured a six-month ordeal after falling off her bike into a Gympie-Gympie factory in North Queensland last June.
She said the pain was much worse than childbirth.
The Gympie-Gympie is one of the most venomous in the world and is also known as the ‘giant Australian hollyhock’ or ‘suicidal plant’ due to the excruciating pain it causes.
Its scientific name is Dendrocnide moroides and belongs to the stinging nettle family, the Urticaceae.
The plant injects venom into the skin of people it comes in contact with and can cause excruciating pain for up to nine months.
Naomi told ABC the pain was “100 percent the worst pain ever.”
She said: “The pain was just unbearable.
“The body hits a pain threshold and then I started throwing up.
“I had four children – three cesareans and one natural.
“Birth, none of them even come close.”
After her accident, her husband drove her to a pharmacy where she bought hair removal strips to remove the burning hairs on her skin while they waited for the ambulance to arrive.
At one point, she recalls telling him she “can’t handle it.”
Naomi was first taken to a hospital in Cairns, close to the scene of the accident, before being transferred to another hospital for pain treatment.
After seven days she was able to return home.
She then had to take painkillers and use heat packs for six months to keep the pain out of her legs.
She was only able to stop taking the painkillers in December last year.
Afterward, she said she still had pain in parts of her legs under certain conditions.
The gympie gympie looks more like a large nettle and has broad, oval or heart-shaped leaves.
It produces fruits that resemble a raspberry but are also covered in tiny hairs.
The plant grows in the rainforests of Australia and Malaysia and emits its sting through tiny hair-like needles.
The effect, which increases in the first 20 to 30 minutes, has been compared to “burning with hot acid and being electrocuted at the same time”.
Victims can also suffer from sneezing fits, allergies, red skin rashes and swollen limbs.
Not all of the stung people end up in the hospital, but many have to be treated in wards.
It was discovered in Australia in 1866 when a road surveyor’s horse went insane after being stabbed and died within two hours.
Australian WWII soldier Cyril Bromley went insane from pain after falling into a lump.
Another shot himself after using nettle as a toilet roll.
Despite the plant’s dangers, a green gardener has cultivated it at his home in Oxford.
Daniel Emlyn-Jones keeps the dreaded plant in a cage marked with a danger sign to prevent visitors from handling it.
The online tutor said his goal is to encourage interest in plants by cultivating unusual plants.
Daniel said: “I don’t want to come across as a jerk – I do it very safely.
“Some botanical gardens have these plants as interesting specimens.”
https://www.the-sun.com/news/7713580/worlds-dangerous-plant-mum-unbearable-pain-australia/ I fell into the “most dangerous plant in the world” – it left me in unbearable pain for months, worse than childbirth