Worse Than Childbirth

Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - 2:28pm

Woman describes excruciating pain of rattlesnake bite.

An Oceanside, California mother is hospitalized after being bitten twice by a rattlesnake.

Brooke O’Neill was walking with her husband and their 2-month-old daughter when she wheeled the stroller over a snake lying on the sidewalk evening.

She felt something bite her leg, but the initial bite wasn't overly painful.

That's when her husband, Brian, heard the rattling.

"Within minutes I felt tingling and numbness in my fingers and hands, then the leg, then it traveled up to my face" she said. "Then within ten minutes I was paralyzed from the neck down, couldn't feel anything."

Her husband initially tried to tie something around her leg and suck the venom out but a neighbor intervened and told him to stop.

Brooke was rushed to Tri-City Medical Center after complaining of a swollen throat and eyes.

She also told her husband she was beginning to feel paralyzed from her throat down.

"By the time I got to the ER I could barely breathe, my face was swelling up, my husband said my eyes were turning bloodshot and I was speaking out the side of my mouth," she said.

She was in intensive care being treated with antivenin late Monday the paper reported.

When asked to describe the pain, Brooke said she's never experienced anything like it.

"I just gave birth two months ago and this was more horrific than giving birth and they say that's the worst thing," she said.

Doctors say mortality rate of a rattlesnake bite is 5 percent with antivenin.

Before that, the rate can be as high as 30 percent.
 

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