Teen survives stepping on rattlesnake nest

Reuters, Agencies November 15, 2012, 1:08 pm

A California teenager who survived falling into a nest of rattlesnakes has described the pain after she was bitten six times.

Vera Oliphant, 16, inadvertently fell into the nest in a rural area just outside San Diego while searching for reception to phone her mother.

She spent four days in the intensive care unit of Sharp Grossmont Hospital.

Doctors gave her 24 vials of antivenom after she was bitten by an adult rattlesnake and five young rattlers outside her uncle's home.

Speaking for the first time since the incident, she told ABC News she felt lucky to be alive.

“I was feeling numb and paralysed. I had black vision and I saw bubbles," she said.

"It felt like needles were stabbing me… it burned so hard and it felt like a bomb just exploded in me. It’s really hard to describe.”

Vera went into anaphylactic shock twice and lost consciousness four times during the ordeal.

She says the fast reactions of her uncle and hospital staff saved her life.

David Oliphant, Vera's father who is also an occupational nurse, told ABC News that while he was used to dealing with patients it was different when the patient was his daughter.

Vers said: "I didn't see them until I already stepped on their nest and I felt them biting me."

"My vision started to go right away. First it looked like the snakes blended into the leaves and then I started seeing black spots around the edges and I started blacking out."

She returned to her uncle's home and he rushed her to hospital.

On the way, Vera talked to her mother and her boyfriend, who told her to stay calm so the venom wouldn't spread.

"I told my mom and my boyfriend I love them in case I don't get to see them again," she said.

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