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Backpacker Discovers 3-Inch Leech Up Nose

Backpacker Daniela Liverani, 24, returned from a trip around south-east Asia to find out she made a new friend during her travels. A 3-inch long leech that attached itself to her nostril.

At first, she confused the parasite sticking out of her nose with congealed blood from a burst blood vessel she thought suffered during a motorcycle accident. Turns out she was wrong. It was actually nightmare fuel. A 3-inch long leech that had been feeding on her blood. Yea, noooope.

‘Two weeks before I came home from Asia, I started having nosebleeds but I’d fallen off a motorbike so thought I’d burst a blood vessel.

‘After I got home, the nosebleeds stopped and I started seeing something sticking out of my nostril. I just thought it was congealed blood from the nosebleeds.

‘I tried to blow him out and grab him but I couldn’t get a grip of him before he retreated back up my nose.

‘When I was in the shower, he would come right out as far as my bottom lip and I could see him sticking out the bottom of my nose.

‘So when that happened, I jumped out of the shower to look really closely in the mirror and I saw ridges on him. That’s when I realised he was an animal.

‘My friend Jenny and I called NHS 24 and were told to get to accident and emergency as soon as possible.’

Doctors used forceps to pry open her nostrils while a nurse and her friend pinned her to the hospital bed because, like most people, she was probably freaking the fuck out.

‘It was agony – whenever the doctor grabbed him, I could feel the leech tugging at the inside of my nose.

‘Then all of a sudden, after half an hour, the pain stopped and the doctor had the leech in the tweezers.

‘He was about as long as my forefinger and as fat as my thumb.

‘He could move so fast as well, which freaked me out. I’ve no idea how he got up there but he’d have got bigger and bigger from feeding on my blood.

‘He had been curled up in a big ball, using my nostril as a little nest, so Jenny and I called him Mr Curly. At one point, I could feel him up at my eyebrow.

‘I asked the doctor what would’ve happened if I hadn’t gone to hospital and she said he’d probably have worked his way into my brain.’

A leech expert said Daniela could have picked up her dark passenger from swimming in Vietnam or even by drinking the water. Though he found it strange she didn’t feel it go in her as “these leeches don’t grow all that quickly.”

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Michael Kelly

Si swimming in Asia is no longer on my list of things to do. Maybe at the hotel pool

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