When a bride suddenly went insane on her wedding day, nobody could figure out what was wrong with her. So, she was rushed to the hospital — and that’s when the doctor noticed something on the back of her head.
Dr. Edward Panacek of Sacramento, California, sees many things in the emergency room where he works diligently to care for his patients. One story sticks with him, though, and that’s the one when Dr. Panacek treated a panicked bride who showed up in the ER on her wedding day.
Only identified as Kelly, the bride was all set to be married. However, she was forced to make an unexpected pitstop to the hospital — wedding dress, styled updo, and all. Many of her loved ones feared that she suddenly lost her mind when her behavior took an unusual turn, prompting the trip to the hospital, but the truth turned out to be far stranger.
In a reenactment for the show “Untold Stories of the ER,” Kelly’s mother told Dr. Edward Panacek that she feared her daughter, who was to get married that very day, was experiencing anxiety and hallucinations. Kelly’s mom wasn’t sure if it was perhaps just some wedding jitters that spun out of control or a previously undetected behavioral issue.
Whatever was going on with the distressed bride-to-be, the frantic mother of the bride thought that Kelly had lost her mind, and she was calling for a psychiatrist to evaluate her daughter and fix whatever was going on in time for the wedding. However, Dr. Panacek didn’t think it was a psychiatric issue at all.
Dr. Edward Panacek was about to leave everyone shocked as he exposed what was really causing all the fuss. Just when Kelly said things were getting worse, Dr. Panacek asked her to hold still while he inspected the back of her scalp. “My suspicions were confirmed,” he said as he inspected the back of her head.
As it turns out, Kelly was not crazy. Instead, Dr. Panacek had discovered the real reason behind the bride’s complaints as the emergency room physician pulled out a centimeter-long botfly larva from Kelly’s head that was growing in the lesion on her scalp and causing her strange symptoms. As if that wasn’t bad enough, there was more than one.
Botflies are very rare in the United States, but apparently, Kelly had picked them up while in Costa Rica for her bachelorette party, where she had gotten a troublesome mosquito bite, complete with botfly eggs unbeknownst to her. She covered the scab from the bite with petroleum jelly, unknowingly sealing in and suffocating the larvae and eggs on top of Kelly’s mosquito bite. As the larvae began to suffocate, they started to wiggle, trying to escape before they succumbed to the suffocation.
If that’s not enough to make your skin crawl, this was not the first time a woman’s symptoms hid something creepier after a vacation getaway, the Daily Mail reports. After 27-year-old Rochelle Harris returned home to England from a vacation in Peru, she too had carried back an unexpected guest, which she would only come to discover when she began having headaches and hearing strange scratching sounds in her ear.
Although doctors thought she might have a minor ear infection at first, a further investigation revealed the shocking truth when her symptoms failed to get better with treatment. Recalling the moment she found out what was causing her problems, Rochelle said, “And that’s when the doctor said, ‘You’ve got maggots in your ear.’ I burst into tears instantly.”
Rochelle was terrified by the news. “I was very scared,” she recalled. “I wondered if they were in my brain. I thought to myself, ‘This could be very, very serious.'” Luckily, further scans revealed no damage, although it did appear that the maggots had laid eggs. Thankfully, doctors were eventually able to treat Rochelle Harris, and now, she’s well, just like the bride with whom our story began.