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FL Press: Snake bite victim critical

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Posted by: W von Papineu at Thu Jul 14 09:06:12 2011  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by W von Papineu ]  
   

BAKER COUNTY PRESS (Macclenny, Florida) 07 July 11 Snake bite victim critically injured at Ocean Pond (Kelley Lannigan)
A family holiday outing proved nearly fatal for one member who was bitten by a timber rattlesnake at an Ocean Pond campsite near Olustee over the Fourth of July weekend.
Jerry Alford, 42, of Jacksonville, was flown to Shands Hospital following the incident about 3:30 pm Sunday.
Mr. Alford remained in critical condition in the hospital’s intensive care unit late Tuesday evening, the victim’s sister, Debbie Tekin, said.
According to witnesses, Mr. Alford was returning to the campsite on foot with several family members when he dropped his cell phone in the grass. He was bitten on the hand by the rattler as he attempted to retrieve it.
Remarkably, Mr. Alford grabbed the snake and carried it into the campsite, where family friend Warren Dukes reported he saw the victim begin to stagger and heard him say, “Warren, I’m going down.”
Mr. Alford then collapsed, dropping the snake and losing consciousness.
Another camper heard the commotion and ran to the campsite with the machete he used to kill the snake.
As a call was made to 9-1-1, Mr. Alford’s family members began frantic efforts to save his life until a rescue crew arrived.
They formed a circle around the victim, holding his head, supporting his chest and trunk. They applied tourniquets and kept ice on the punctured area in an effort to keep the venom from spreading rapidly.
“Stay with us Uncle Jerry, stay with us,” one family member repeated over and over.
Baker County EMS arrived, then transported Mr. Alford to the Lifeflight helicopter waiting outside the campground.
“We nearly lost him twice that first night at the hospital,” said Ms. Tekin.
“He may lose a finger. His eyesight, liver and kidney function have been affected, but my brother is a real fighter. The folks at the hospital said if he weren’t so strong he wouldn’t be here at all.
"It’s really bad," she said, "but I think he’s going to survive.”
Snake bite victim critically injured at Ocean Pond


   

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