The Block

The Block Exclusive: Jess nearly died after a run-in with a monkey

'It attacked me over some grapes'

By Zara Zubeidi
Drama follows The Block's Jess Eva wherever she goes – and that includes the remotest part of India.
The bubbly star was volunteering at an orphanage back in 2009 when she was attacked by a monkey, leaving her with symptoms so severe she thought she was going to die.
"I walked into my room one day and there was a monkey eating grapes at the end of my bed," Jess tells TV WEEK.
Although devastated by the attack, the ordeal did later lead Jess to meet her husband Norm.
"I was a bloody idiot because I stood in the doorway and was trying to shoo it out. But it jumped up on to the bookcase before biting me on the back of the head.
"It was horrendous. I finally got him off and ran out, but it'd broken the skin. The doctor didn't think it was serious but my mum, who is a nurse, made me get on the next flight home back to Australia.
"Within 48 hours I had a fever, had diarrhoea and scabs were starting to appear all over my body."
Jess, 33, was devastated to leave the orphanage behind but once back in Australia, received the care she clearly needed.
"I'm confident that if I hadn't received that medical treatment I would've died," she says.
Jess's mum convinced her to return to Australia for treatment.
Shockingly, the mum of two lost about 10kg over two weeks and even to this day, thinks the attack comes back to haunt her.
"I don't know if this is related to what happened but I get random boils, which is weird."
But there is a silver lining – if she hadn't returned to Australia, Jess wouldn't have met 40 year old Norm.
"When I came back I was offered a radio gig up in Cairns, and that's where I met Norm!" says Jess.

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