Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
A talkative teen was bitten by rattlesnakes six times, while looking for a cell phone signal east of San Diego.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Vera Oliphant, 16, of El Cajon was visiting her uncle in Jamul, Calif., when she ventured into the desert searching for a cell phone signal.
Spying a hill, she made her way towards the top in the hope of catching a few bars for her phone. That was when she said she heard rattling all around her.
The teen immediately knew the sound was coming from rattlesnakes and began to run back down the hill, bars or no. In her flight, she stepped into a rattlesnake nest and was immediately bitten six times.
"On a scale of one to ten, the pain was 45" she told reporters, "My entire body started swelling."
Despite the venom working through her body, the young girl made it to her uncle's home and he immediately rushed her to the hospital.
The teen spent four days in intensive care at Sharp Grossmount Hospital. Doctors said she's lucky to be alive.
Doctors used the press coverage to update the public about what to do in the event of snakebite. Avoid tourniquets and suction since those make the injuries worse, they advise. Instead, stay immobile if possible, and have yourself transported to an emergency room as quickly as you can.
In the case of rattlesnake bites, the venom takes a bit longer than most people realize to work because its evolved to work on small animals, not humans. Still, the bites can be deadly.
Wild snakes, particularly rattlesnakes, are dangerous animals and should be entirely avoided.
© 2012, Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
- - -
Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.