Beaudesert woman, Zoe Cahill, has taken on the deadliest creature on earth and survived.
Zoe, who has been travelling in South East Asia for several months, was swimming off the shore of Zen Beach on the Thai island Ko Pha Ngan when a box jellyfish wrapped its tentacles around her legs, torso and arms, stinging her severely.
She managed to swim to shore where she collapsed.
Zoe discovered later that her heart stopped and was given CPR by a Lithuanian couple who happened to be on the beach.
“Permanent stings across my chest, arms and legs sent me into a natural state of cardiac arrest,” recalled Zoe.
“When I miraculously made it to shore I very peacefully drifted into a deep state of sleep, beginning my journey towards the heavens.”
“Bystanders have since reached out to me detailing that my body had turned completely blue.”
Fortunately for Zoe, several people ran to get vinegar and poured it over her body.
She was transported to hospital in Ko Pha Ngan where they discovered the toxicity had affected her organs.
They quickly moved her to Koh Samui hospital where she remained for a week, under the treatment of a specialist from Bangkok.
Doctors later said the fast work of the bystanders saved the 23 year old’s life.
People badly stung by box jellyfish have died within minutes.
Biologist and jellyfish expert, Dr Lisa-Ann Gershwin, described the box jellyfish as the deadliest creature on earth.
“Death from a box jellyfish generally occurs in the first ten minutes post sting and often within two to four minutes,” she said.
Zoe still carries scars where she came into contact with the box jellyfish’s tentacles.
Her right wrist was the worst affected. The skin blistered within days and has peeled several times.
While it was a terrifying experience, Zoe considers herself fortunate.
“Discharged days ago, test results have all stabilised showing no signs of injury and all organs are functioning at a healthy rate of a 23-year-old woman,” she said.
Zoe talks more about her story on her Instagram @zoe_cahill.