Skooter reports 11/11/12
While a teenage California girl searching for a cell phone signal to call her mother in a rural area outside San Diego, she unintentionally walked into a nest of rattlesnakes and was bitten six times, but survived.
Vera Oliphant, 16, was taken to Sharp Grossmont Hospital by her uncle and spent four days in the intensive care unit. The doctors gave her 24 vials of antivenom after an adult rattlesnake and five young rattlers sunk its teeth on her outside her uncle's home.
After she was released from the hospital following the Oct. 27 incident, she recalled she was trying to find a signal to call her mom and text her boyfriend. She didn’t see the rattlers until she already stepped on their nest and she felt the rattlers biting her.
Her vision started to go right away, she continued. First it appeared like the snakes blended into the leaves and then she started seeing black spots around the edges and she started blacking out.
It was good, she managed to return to her uncle's home in Jamul, outside San Diego, and her uncle immediately carried her into the car and rushed her to the emergency room, she said.
While on the way to the hospital, she talked to her mom and her boyfriend, who told her to relax so the venom wouldn't spread. She told her mom and her boyfriend that she loved them in case she didn’t get to see them again.
Doctors administered 24 vials of antivenom to stop the dangerous toxins, according to a hospital spokesman. Usually snakebites aren't deadly as thought, although a handful of people die in the United States each year from snake bites, including bites from rattlesnakes.
Eventually Oliphant has recovered and will be returning to classes at Chaparral High School in El Cajon on Monday. She said she did learn something new and that the next time she can't get a signal, she will handle it in a different way.
"Be careful where you step," she said. "If you don't need to, just wait until you are somewhere that you can call people."