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Diane

St. Petersburg, Florida

On a hot steamy early Saturday evening, on July 23, 2005, I decided to do some backyard gardening. I was planning a surprise birthday party for my husband and had a million things on my mind. The back yard was a mess and I thought that it was a good time to get started, as the sun was starting to go down and it wasn’t so hot in the back yard. I had a big garbage can waiting to be filled with weeds.

Diane

I took a shovel and tried to loosen an area filled with leftover cement dumped in my back yard when my home was being built. I soon gave up and reached to my left to pull some weeds. All of a sudden I felt like I had cut my foot on something, as my foot slipped. The pain was unbearable, and I could see “firecracker” type light in my eyes. I quickly walked through the house and rinsed my foot off then wrapped it in a towel to catch the blood.

Fortunately, my husband, Bob, returned soon from the grocery store.

The rest soon became a big blur. Bob quickly looked at my foot and soon realized that it was not a cut needing stitches. I had been bitten by two very large snakes and needed help quickly.

I arrived at Northside Hospital and was DOA with only a slight pulse in my neck. The doctor wasn’t sure if it was mine or his. I spent thirteen days in the hospital and the first three days were very critical. After at least fifty bags of anti-venom, platelets, and antibiotics, and a million prayers from heaven and earth, I return home after thirteen days in the hospital, learning how to use crutches. I stayed home for a week, then return to work still in crutches. I was later told that I would not have made it in time if the ambulance would have taken me to Bayfront Hospital.

A Miracle? Yes, absolutely!! I was bitten by two Eastern diamondback rattlesnakes. They are the largest and most venomous snakes in Florida. My foot is still quite swollen and I tire easily, but I’m alive and walk slower now. I’m expecting to recovery 100%. Will I return to my gardening? Yes, but I’ll be very cautious of my surroundings and plan my gardening chores very differently in the future. 

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