News

Actions

Rattlesnake bite results in $200K doctor's bill

Posted: 11:25 PM, May 23, 2016
Updated: 2016-05-24 12:49:54-04

"Sometimes you won't even see them. You'll walk right by them," snake expert Chris Wirt said.

If only that was the case Sunday.

"She opened up the door, she took a step out and stepped right on the snake," Elvan Silva said.

Around 8 p.m. Silva says she heard her mother scream in terror.

"I was freaking out because you see in the movies it's minutes before they fall on the ground and that's it," said Silva.  

Her mother had been bitten by a pigmy rattlesnake, but this wasn't on the nearby nature trail. This was on the front doormat.

The 56-year-old was rushed to the hospital, receiving several doses of antivenin at $20,000 each. Doctors also kept her overnight for additional tests and observations.

"They had to make sure she wasn't getting blood clots from reaction to the venom," said Silva.

While she didn't lose her leg, it sure felt like it when they heard the bill.  

"She didn't qualify for Medicaid, she doesn't have a job, no insurance and they were talking about $203,000," said Silva. "We have no idea how she will pay that. We've found a charity that will pay up to $36,000."

"The bushes are trimmed so that's nice," said Chris Wirt, as he inspected the couple's home.

"We use snake repellant that is 99 percent effective," said Wirt. "But when you live where snakes live, you're going to have snakes."

Wirt said snakes usually come into contact with people's homes when they are hunting for things like mice, frogs and lizards.

"When we come out we also search for any kind of den, nest, eggs," said Wirt. "We're getting calls about rattlesnakes two or three times a week right now, so people really need to prepare their yards by getting rid of excessive foliage, high grass, and keep their eyes open."

While Silva says she's attempting to snake proof her home now, it never crossed her mind to think before she took that first step out the door.

"My kids and I are both taking a second look now," Silva said.

If you would like to donate to help with the cost of the antivenin treatment click here .