Woman nearly died from wasp sting on tongue after it flew into her wine

Jeni Boothman nearly died when she drank a glass of wine containing a wasp. (SWNS)
Jeni Boothman nearly died when she drank a glass of wine containing a wasp. (SWNS)

A woman nearly died after suffering a severe allergic reaction when she drunk a glass of wine that contained a wasp.

Retired headteacher Jeni Boothman, 73, struggled to breathe after the aggressive insect stung her on the tongue when she took a sip of her summer beverage.

She and husband Tony, 82, had walked round to a neighbour's house last month for a barbecue in Bowland Bridge, Cumbria.

They sat down to eat at around 9.30pm and Mrs Boothman picked up a glass of red wine and took a swig – only to feel a searing pain in her tongue as the wasp stung it, and spat the drink out.

She felt her tongue begin to swell up and she began to shake and vomit, meaning she was unable to breathe as her airwaves swelled up.

Paramedics who rushed to the scene gave Mrs Boothman three shots of adrenaline in the back of an ambulance.

She was kept in hospital for two days, where she was put on a potassium drip and given steroids – but neither she nor her husband had any grasp of how serious the situation was.

Wasp sitting on a glass
The wasp had settled inside a glass of wine before it stung Jeni Boothman on the tongue. (Getty/stock photo) (JimmyR via Getty Images)

Medics at Furness General Hospital told her she was lucky to be alive after going into anaphylactic shock.

Mrs Boothman said: "We sat down to eat about 9.30pm, it was dark and I don't know if I'd have noticed it anyway because of chatting.

"I spat out the wine and felt this searing pain on my tongue, it just swelled up.

"I had difficulty breathing because it was blocking my airwaves, I was being sick and it was blocking my nose.”

Mrs Boothman, whose tongue remained swollen four days after the sting, has had bad reactions to mosquito and horsefly stings in the past, and now plans to get a glass cover to prevent it from happening again.

She added: "I am pretty fit for my age but if that happens, it does not matter what age you are."

Symptoms of anaphylactic shock include swelling in the throat and/or mouth, difficulty breathing, severe wheezing, feeling faint, dizzy, or very sleepy, itching and swelling away from the site of the sting and severe abdominal pain.

Sufferers will require an urgent injection of adrenaline, while another may be necessary if symptoms return.