A spider bite led to a 9-year wound ordeal: Wound Champion Jenna Allen's story (Vic)
Monday, 28 August 2023
In 2014, Jenna Allen was bitten by a redback spider while volunteering for the CFA. She was admitted to the ICU but her wound became severely infected. Jenna needed multiple surgeries and a skin graft to bring her wound under control. 

More than a year later, Jenna’s wound began to break down. Abrasions that looked like mosquito bites refused to heal despite constant treatment and bandaging. At one point, Jenna faced the terrifying possibility of losing her arm when her entire forearm became a painful mass of infected ulcers and sores.  

Listen to Jenna's story.

This near decade-long ordeal, including chronic pain, medication side effects and the financial strain of treatment costs, has had a huge impact on Jenna’s life and her family. Ongoing wound care is not covered under Medicare, costing Jenna around $1000 each week to treat her wound. Sadly, healthcare professionals missed opportunities to treat Jenna effectively due to inadequate wound care education and training. 

She is now being treated by Wounds Australia Chair and leading wound care nurse Hayley Ryan, and the wound is improving. However, a recent detection of pre-cancerous cells is extremely worrying, leaving Jenna wondering about the next step on her journey to healing. 

29-year-old Jenna Allen works part-time as a dance teacher in Edenhope, where she lives with her husband and their two small children. Jenna is available for interview.

Thank you to Jenna for sharing her story, and to Wound Rescue for facilitating.