A 9-year old Grant County boy is bruised and shaken, and his mother is happy he is recovering after he was bitten by a rattlesnake at their home earlier this month.
On July 9, Chinle Nelson was preparing to spray an area near her home with weed and feed before leaving for vacation. While she was spraying, her son, Boady, decided to sit in one of her vehicles parked in the driveway.
While Boady was sitting in the vehicle, he heard a sound that he thought was his mother turning on the sprayer.
But it wasn't the sprayer. His mom heard it, too, and she knew what it was.
“Then a couple seconds in my mind, I heard it and screamed at him that it was a snake," Chinle said about the rattling noise she heard inside the car. "Then he jumped out of the (car) at that point, and ran around to the back of it and took his shorts off really fast.”
Chinle hollered at her husband, Dallas, and older son, Blayc, who came running around from the other side of the house. Dallas checked Boady to see if he had gotten bit, but initially didn’t see any bite marks because the boy was wearing longer athletic boxers.
Then Boady felt a little sting and grabbed his leg. The young rattle snake had bitten the back of his leg.
“Then Blayc went and checked him and was able to see there was blood where he had gotten bitten with two fang marks,” Chinle said. “That was when we figured out he had gotten bit.”
Boady said on Friday that when he got bit, it stung, and he began to get nervous.
“I was freaking out a lot, but my dad told me to calm down, so I did,” Boady said. “… Not much was really going through my head at the time.”
One thing going through Chinle’s head was if he would live or not, she said.
“…I remember hearing the snake, and I remember the initial feeling when I found out he got bit. It crosses your mind that it was life or death… It was an awful feeling,” she said.
Chinle rushed Boady to Bob Wilson Memorial Ulysses hospital while Dallas and Blayc searched for the snake. They quickly found it in the back seat of the vehicle and killed it.
Chinle said there wasn’t any anti-venom available to treat Boady at the Ulysses hospital, but because she called ahead of their arrival to the ER, the Hugoton and Stanton County hospitals each sent law enforcement officers with lights and sirens blaring to Ulysses to deliver anti-venom to treat Boady.
Boady was then transported to Wesley Medical in Wichita, where he stayed for a few days for treatment before being released. He is now home and is continuing to be treated with antibiotics.
“The fast action of the Ulysses ER is what helped a lot,” Chinle said. “…They are thinking he’ll make a full-recovery from it.”
The Nelsons, who live outside of Ulysses in rural Grant County, said they are still unsure about how the snake got in the vehicle, but think it may have been chasing a mouse that entered the car trying to get some corn feed that was in the vehicle.
“... They say they can get through the vents, wires and stuff,” Chinle said.
One of the Nelsons’ dogs, a Great Pyrenees, was bitten by a rattlesnake earlier that same day on a different part of their 80-acre property.
Since the snake bite, both Boady and Chinle are being more cautious.
“Look around and be safe and never mess with the snake,” Boady said.
According to the Department of Wildlife, Ecology, and Conservation at the University of Florida, Fewer than one in 37,500 people are bitten by venomous snakes in the U.S. each year.
According to the Kansas Department of Wildlife Parks and Tourism, snakes are active during the warmer months between late March and November.
There are usually one or two puncture marks if a person is bit by a venomous snake. If the snake injected venom, there may be burning pain along with redness and swelling around the bite that may progress along the limb. Nausea and vomiting can occur. Vision may be affected, and breathing can become labored. Other symptoms may include increased salivation and sweating and numbness or tingling around your face and limbs, according to the KDWPT.
“Hiking, camping, fishing, or hunting may put you in areas where you could encounter a snake, so be snake-savvy and snake-aware,” The KDWPT said in a release. "Venomous snakes are generally shy and aren’t looking for a fight, but they will bite in self-defense if you step too close, step on or provoke them.”
Contact Josh Harbour at firstname.lastname@example.org.