GRAPEVINE (CBSDFW.COM) – A 2-year-old boy remains in the hospital Friday after a rattlesnake bit the back of his leg last weekend. The Hadley family from Grapevine were at their second property in the Panhandle at the time of the dangerous incident.
Trent Hadley said that he was on the back porch gathering some firewood to roast s’mores when a baby rattlesnake attacked. His 2-year-old boy was in sneakers, standing right next to him. “I reach down to hand him some firewood and saw the snake, and it just got him. Immediately, I grabbed him took him inside, rolled him over saw he was bitten,” said Trent.
“He was not tearful. He was not screaming, hurting in pain,” said the boy’s mother, Amy. “Luckily, we just saw the snake and knew what it was.”
The Hadleys did not hesitate to rush Parker to Childress Regional Medical Center. The child was receiving care within 25 minutes of suffering the bite. Not too long after, he was flown to Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, which is a Level 1 trauma center.
“We are very fortunate and very blessed to be where we are today. Could have been a very different story,” Amy said.
For the last few days, a team at the hospital has been monitoring the bite and the tissue around it. They are managing Parker’s pain and keeping a close eye on his overall health.
Lori Vinson, senior director of trauma services, said that the hospital typically admits 25 to 30 children each year who require antivenom. Most of them suffer copperhead bites. Rattlesnake bites are less common, and more dangerous. “The venom itself is more toxic to the tissue, to the muscles that are involved in the area,” Vinson explained. “We have to monitor them more closely.”
Parker has received 22 vials of antivenom. His parents said that his tiny foot and leg grew nearly three times their regular size as a result of swelling.
Now, with a smile on his face, the toddler is sucking on lollipops and happily watching movies on an iPad. “He’s a trooper,” his mother said.
One of the most helpful steps that the family took was snapping a photograph of the snake that bit their child. It helps doctors know exactly how to treat the wound. Experts say to snap a picture when possible, or at least try to get an accurate description of the snake.
The family added that they have been overwhelmed with support from their loved ones and the community. “We’ve got a lot of prayer warriors out there and people keeping us in their thoughts and prayers,” Amy said, “and it’s definitely got us to where we are today.”