Encounter with wild parsnip leaves Vermont woman with large, painful blisters

BENNINGTON, Vt. (WHDH) — A Vermont woman says her brush up with a wild parsnip plant earlier this month left her with large, painful blisters.

Charlotte Murphy says she ran into the plant on July 2 in Bennington while on a work trip.

“I was kind of walking along some of the brush and lost my footing a little bit. I didn’t completely fall but definitely broke some leaves and those made contact with my lower left leg,” she said. “I just thought regular leaves had brushed up against my leg, so I wasn’t concerned at all.”

Murphy says she didn’t realize the plant’s sap had gotten on her skin and continued working out in the sun.

“I went about my day in the really hot sun and didn’t wash my body until the end of the day, so that sap that had come from the broken leaves was exposed to the sun for the entire day,” she said. “I continued working the rest of the week out in the sun, thus activating the oil even more.”

Murphy says the blisters started to form a couple days later before gradually becoming so painful that she was unable to walk.

“July 9, my leg started to get pretty red and started to itch a lot. I kind of uncontrollably couldn’t stop itching it,” she said. “I realized throughout the day I had more blisters and they all started to grow exponentially.”

Murphy says she was in Boston for work when she was forced to drive home and seek emergency treatment on July 10. She says one of the blisters was about the size of a tennis ball.

“When I pulled in the driveway, I kind of broke down crying and just realized that I had to go to the hospital,” she said. “It kind of happened crazily overnight that the big blisters appeared.”

Murphy shared photos of the blisters on Facebook as a warning to others. She plans to see a burn specialist for her injuries.

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