A Staffordshire mother says she is lucky to be alive after being speared in the foot by a stingray while on holiday in Thailand.
Dawn North, 44, stood on the creature while she was paddling in the sea in Khao Lak. She said she felt a stabbing pain and then looked down to see her leg was covered in blood.
Police control room worker Dawn 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 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 then carted off to a local medical centre to try and get to the bottom of just what exactly had happened to her.
"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."
She added: "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 two hours away to Phuket, where she had to stay for two days, taking antibiotics, antihistamines and morphine.
"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," she said.
The mother of three eventually got home to the UK where she went directly to the Royal Stoke Hospital.
"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 injury meant that Dawn had to take three months off work to recover, as well as needing physiotherapy.
"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."
Featured Image Credit: PA