I have debated all summer about sharing this store with y’all. It has absolutely no relation to photography and the pictures I do have are terrible phone pictures. The more I think about it, the more I think that I need to share my experiences because if it can help just one person, then it will have been worth it.
The Day My Little Girl Was Bit by a Snake
When I look back on that day, I can rest knowing that there was nothing we could have done and we did everything right. I can also say that I have never in my life felt so connected to God and so thankful for the internet. this may seem like irony at its best but we had been spending every weekend cleaning out dead leaves and debris to keep snakes and ticks away from biting our dog who loves to lay in the shrubs.
It was Memorial day and we were 90% done cleaning up our backyard that buts up against the woods. My husband had raked the last of the dead leaves out from under the last section of shrubs, he was being careful to go through them before I picked them up. At this point our toddler was helping me put dead leaves into the landscape bag. After picking up all of the leaves, he got out the broom to sweep up the concrete. He was moving trash cans around to sweep behind them and I ended up with a small recycling one in my hand and that is when it happened. Evelyn saw the copperhead before we did and bent to pick it up and just like any snake would, it bit her. She yelped and I dropped the trash container on the snake and swooped her up before I could say a word. I ran her inside and grabbed the diaper bag and threw a shirt over my bathing suit while my husband ran out got the truck out of the back yard and brought it to the front of the house. Apparently he had the fore site to start his stopwatch and go kill the snake and put it in a zip lock bag to bring with us.
Evelyn wasn’t crying but randomly let out a wine. I was holding her wrist tight to try to prevent the venom from going up her arm and I am pretty sure that was part of the reason for her wine. That trip felt like forever but I knew I had to stay calm and to keep Evelyn calm, so that her blood pressure would not rise.
I got her out of the truck and ran into the emergency room, Evelyn in one arm and dead snake in the other hand. We were quickly taken to a room and that is where my husband quick thinking made a world of difference! They were able to tell that she was bit by a copperhead and that it was a baby. Turns out babies release more venom when they bite because they have not learned how to control themselves yet. So, they knew she was most likely going to need extra venom. We were also able to tell them how long it had been since she was bitten, which was a big help.
At this point Evelyn was getting upset but again, not like she was in pain, more overwhelmed. The nurses were trying to hold her down and get an IV in. I was trying so hard to calm her down and it just was not working. That is when I did the only thing I knew how to do, I leaned in and rested my head against her and I prayed out loud. I prayed for God to help her stay still so they could get the IV in. I prayed for her to calm down so the nurses could give her morphine to help with the pain. The moment I started praying, she went still. From that very second I felt the Lord’s presence, I felt closer to him then I have ever felt before and I know she felt him too.
We learned something new, the antidote was kept in a fridge and has to be warmed by rolling between the hands SLOWLY!! I was sitting there with my little girl in my arms watching her hand swell and the nurses were so clam and not in a rush. I kept wondering why they were not moving quicker!! Well, apparently if the vial is rolled too fast causing the antidote to foam, they can not use it. I just kept thinking that I had to stay calm because Evelyn was on my chest and she would be able to tell if I was upset.
She finally received the first does 40 minutes after she was bit and the swelling had gone from her pinky to right above her elbow. They said it might continue to swell for a bit. We were transferred via helicopter to another hospital 1.5 hours away that had a pediatric intensive care unit.
Before getting on the helicopter I was able to call my mom and sister. I asked them to pray and told my sister to post to facebook for prayers. Before long there were prayer chains going on across the country. At this point, I knew God was there, he was going to protect my little girl. I had no reason to fear, my only job was to be there for Evelyn and be strong for her.
When we got to Vidant Medical Center we were greeted by Dr. Bush, who is quite famous from his series on Animal Planet. He was so kind and reassuring, and explained that besides a couple more doses of anti venom that all we could do was wait for the venom to run it course. Evelyn was a little dazed at this point and in and out of sleep (it was her nap time). Her arm had swelled a little more but finally stopped.
After her nap, they moved us up to the PICU to be under observation. Again, I knew the Lord was still right there as his presence was so strong and so calming. Evelyn was doing amazing she was already starting to attempt to move her hand, though she could not due to swelling. By the next morning she was up and moving and using her hand. We were told that we could go home. I was in shock at how quickly she overcame such a traumatic event but was so thankful to go home.
Her hand was still badly swollen but quickly went down.
I know this was a long post, but I wanted to share with you. If it helps in anyway then I know it will have been worth it. It could have been so much worse, if her hand had swelled too much, she would have needed surgery or if is moved up to her heart it would have been really bad. Our quick thinking, prayers from around the country and modern medicine saved my little girl.