Girl, 7, bitten on the face by a foot-long rat as she slept in bed
A seven-year-old girl is recovering after being bitten on the face by a foot-long rat.
Francesca Williams was asleep when a rat climbed into her bed and bit her face and arm, leaving her covered in blood.
Francesca's parents Wendy and Darren from Symonds Yat, Herefordshire, were awoken at 2.30am by her screams.
"She was crying and said a big brown animal had bitten her," said Wendy. "She said she woke up after feeling something crawling on her leg and when she moved it bit her.
"We could see from the blood on her face and arm that something had happened so my husband Darren went to get our dog Hattie to see if he could find anything.
"The dog immediately sniffed the rat out. It was hiding underneath Francesca's bed. Hattie killed it and Darren threw it outside."
Little Francesca was too traumatised to sleep in her room for over a week.
"There have been no droppings, nests or signs of any rats in our home so we can only assume it got in that day, through the cat flap perhaps," said Wendy.
"You just never think a rat would come into your home, let alone bite your child. It's unbelievable. I thought she was having a bad dream or couldn't find her teddy, never in a million years did I think Francesca would have been bitten by a rat.
"You hear about rats carrying diseases and so we worried Francesca may have caught an infection, but she's been to the doctors and has been given some antibiotics and luckily everything is okay.
"It could have been so much worse, what if it had bitten her near her eye or if the rat had bitten a baby, it's frightening."
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