Kiwi triathlete hospitalised after 'horror' cockroach encounter

Ms Corbidge said the incident was the worst experience of her life.
Ms Corbidge said the incident was the worst experience of her life. Photo credit: Sophie Corbidge / Supplied

A New Zealand triathlete has detailed the terror and pain she experienced after a cockroach climbed deep into her ear canal and become trapped.

Sophie Corbidge, an Oceania elite sprint champion in 2015 and one of the top 100 triathletes in the world, said the experience was akin to "starring in my own horror film".

Ms Corbidge, 26, first became aware that something was amiss when sudden jolts of pain jerked her awake at about 11pm on Tuesday.

"I felt something crawling in my ear - [it's] the worst pain I've ever been in," she wrote in a Facebook post. "Every time it wriggled around, I was in agony."

Ms Corbidge's boyfriend and flatmates were on hand to take her to Accident & Emergency, but the visit was largely unsuccessful, as medical staff couldn't locate the intruder.

The cockroach was eventually removed - in pieces.
The cockroach was eventually removed - in pieces. Photo credit: Sophie Corbidge / Supplied

"Doctors couldn't see anything, so they made the call to kill the unidentified culprit, using oil to drown it," she said. "They next tried to fish it out, then flush it out, but it was too deep.

"I got sent home with painkillers and told to come back to the ear specialist [on Wednesday] morning."

She had more luck the second time round, although she admitted doctors were reluctant to help out when they met the uninvited invertebrate.

"The staff at Waikato Hospital were amazing, but as soon as the doctor looked in and saw what it was, even she was squeamish. I wish I had known after it was removed that it was, in fact, a cockroach in my ear."

An ear specialist then got to work on removing the insect, using a combination of "fancy tweezers and a mini vacuum".

"Horrendous. Worst nightmare. But they got the bastard out, and [my boyfriend] George got to watch on screen," she continued on Facebook.

"Mortein is now my new best friend. I would not wish this on anyone."

While she's fine now and is relieved it's all over, Ms Corbidge admitted she may struggle to fall asleep tonight.

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