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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Poisonous Snake Bite Brings a Date With Death - - - NOT!

"The next time a coincidence blesses your life then embrace it for the gift from God that it is. We are all watched over with so much love. May we make our lives a gift of love as well."
The above statement was posted in a note by a friend on Facebook.  When I read it I felt compelled to post my proof that there are no such things as coincidences. It is true, you should embrace them as truly gifts from a loving heavenly father.

On June 27th, 2001 my kids and I were doing some work in the yard. We were cutting back vines and overgrown "stuff" so we could use and enjoy more of our property. My oldest daughter was off looking for lizards and found a snake instead but it wasn't in the woods. All the snakes in the woods scurry off for the most part when you get near them. No, this one was under a piece of wood in the middle of the yard. She'd been taught how to handle a snake but apparently not been taught that you shouldn't pick up every snake you see. So she brought her prize to me. (she was 9 1/2) But something didn't seem right...when I went to reach for the snake all sorts of warning bells went off inside me.

I felt so strongly that one of us would get hurt badly if I tried to take it. I had no idea what kind of snake it was but knew enough to trust that inner voice. My in-laws were here and I figured my father-in-law would know what it was so we headed back towards the house and I sent one of the kids off to get grandpa. By then the snake was pretty agitated from being handled and that frightened my daughter enough that she dropped it. As it headed under our porch steps she bent down and grabbed it by the tail and pulled it back out. That was all the agitation it needed and it sunk its fangs into her finger releasing all the venom in its venom sack. She flung her hand several times before it let go but it began to swell immediately. Somehow within 3 minutes of the bite we had the snake dead and in a jar...and my daughter and I were in our van headed towards the hospital with purse, wallet and cell phone in hand. 

I called the Med Center ER and told them what had happened and that we were on the way. Not far from the house she had already become very sleepy and had a metallic taste in her mouth. Somehow I reached the ER in 25 minutes. (which from where we live, I shouldn't have been able to do) Before I had a chance to shut off the vehicle the staff already had her out of the van and gone. When I got to her they notified me that had it been any longer to get there she'd be dead. This is where the story gets more interesting. 

There was only one Dr. who worked at that hospital that had dealt with a snake bite and he was there that day. Before they could give her the anti-venom they needed to know what they were dealing with. Working that day was a male nurse who kept venomous as it turns out he didn't correctly distinguish the exact kind of snake but they now had a good enough idea to start with. It sounds like it took a long time but actually all this was happening in split seconds and short moments. 

There was so much going on at one time. There were so many people around and they were all trying to save one daughters'. They left all the other patients for her. At one point I heard her say she couldn't see...(her eyesight was getting very blurry) and she ask me if she was going to die. Something so strong welled up inside me and I told her "No baby, you're not going to die. God loves you and He has placed everyone you need right here." I had no idea where that had come from. I knew it in my heart but in my head I was frightened. There was an unbelievable peace that surrounded her. If I moved several feet away I was overcome with such unbearable anguish yet the anguish dissolved into nothingness in closeness to her.  

They gave her 16 vials of anti-venom. Even with the anti-venom in her system the venom was causing the swelling in her hand to continue. They became so concerned they called on the hand surgeon to come take a look. He told me that if the swelling continued he would have to cut open her hand... literally slice open the skin so the swelling wouldn't destroy the nerves and blood vessels. This would leave her with life long scars. Well the swelling in her hand stopped. 

She broke out in a rash from head to toe and they had to give her lots of Benadryl. She was having an allergic reaction to the anti-venom. Though the swelling in her hand had stopped she began complaining of pain in her arm and wrist. The swelling was moving slowly but surely up from her hand. She was bitten by a juvenile cottonmouth, a pit-viper. Their venom attacks the local area where the bite is but it also affects the central nervous system. This is why she was losing her vision. Before the swelling reached her elbow they gave her another 7 vials of anti-venom...yes...that totals 23 vials. She was moved into ICU once she was stabilized but the swelling continued. The nurses had to wake her every hour to ask her questions to see what if any detrimental effects the venom was having on her brain. Eventually the swelling was just inches from her shoulder. At that time we were told that we had exhausted the hospitals supply of anti-venom. They had found several nearby hospitals that had anti-venom and could get it to the Med Center in 30 min. If the swelling rose one more inch up her arm they were calling in the anti-venom and would have to dose her with another 7-9 vials. That wasn't something we wanted to hear. 

Looking back I don't understand why we worried...seeing as every-time we were given an "if this then that" scenario something cool happened ...why would this time be any different?  It wasn't any different....the swelling stopped! The next day she was moved out of ICU into a private room.

We were told that she would be in the hospital for at least a week but she spent a total of only 3 days in the hospital. When we were sent home we had an appointment to follow-up with the hand surgeon in three weeks. We were also made to clearly understand that it would take at least three weeks for the swelling to begin going down and months to fully recover.

However, by the time she saw the hand surgeon... ALL the swelling was gone and she was fully recovered. The hand surgeon x-ray'd her and said there was only a slight amount of damage to the bone in her finger where the snake's fang hit it.

Many people are just blown away by the numerous coincidences. 
  • The one and only dr working at the hospital who had ever dealt with a snake bite was there that day.
  • The hospital had 23 vials of anti-venom which is the exact amount she needed. 
  • When notified that should the swelling continue in her hand that they MUST do surgery and so the swelling stops keeping her from having to go thru that surgery. 
  • When told that if the swelling rises one more inch towards her shoulder that they'd have to hit her with 7-9 more vials of antivenom (knowing that she had an allergic reaction TO the antivenom) and suddenly the swelling stops. 
  • She only spent 3 days in the hospital when we were told it'd take a week.
  • The swelling in her fingers, hand and arm was all totally gone by the end of three weeks even though we'd been told that it would take three weeks before ANY of the swelling started to go down.
  • When she had the follow up appointment with the hand surgeon he found that though the swelling had been very severe, there was no lasting damage.  Where the snake's fang hit the bone in her finger she has a slight thickening of the bone.  Unless you x-ray, you'd never know.
  • And, instead of it taking months for her to fully recover, her recovery was full and complete by the end of the three weeks when she went in for the hand surgeon visit!
At what point do you look at the above and realize............ this was the hand of the God I spoke to my daughter about that day...the God who loved her so much he placed everyone and everything she needed right where she would need them.   My daughter is special to me but God, He doesn't love her anymore than He loves you.... and if He'll prove his love for her ..... 
He'll prove it to you.

5 awesome comments:

  1. That was a great blog story sis

  2. I remember when this happened. I think the entire church was praying for her. We were all amazed at her quick recovery!

  3. Awesome testimony! It truly blessed me.

  4. WOW. This just choked me up reading it. What a story, thank you for sharing. Your life stories never cease to amaze me. You are such a strong woman and I am thankful God has put you and your family in my life.

  5. With this story of my life, like others that I write about, it's truly only God that has given me the strength to go thru them. I'm just so thankful that I have the ability to tell so many about the awesome things that God has done for me!


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