A teen that stepped into a snake nest is lucky to be alive, as we reported earlier this week, but the California girl also says she will suffer effects of the snake attack for years.
Sixteen-year-old Vera Oliphant is the teen who stepped into the snake nest outside San Diego, ultimately sustaining venomous bites from a mother rattlesnake and her five baby rattlers. Oliphant was engaged in a common low-signal-area behavior at the time the teen stepped into the snake nest, searching for a signal on her phone and ultimately disturbing the rattlers. She explains:
“I was trying to find a signal to call my mom and text my boyfriend … I didn’t see them until I already stepped on their nest and I felt them biting me.”
Not every teen who steps in a snake nest is as lucky as Vera, who described the resultant pain as, on a scale of one to 10, a 45. (Ouch.) Deaths do occur each year in the US following venomous snake bites, but Oliphant made it to safety and received 24 vials of antivenin to counteract the poison from the snakes’ fangs.
And, while the teen survived her steps into a snake pit, Oliphant explains that she will likely experience side effects for years after her brush with death:
“The doctors told me that I need two to three months to completely recover from the bites. But I will feel a weird sensation when stepping on my right leg for years.”
Vera also has advice for Californians at risk of snake nest encounters:
“If you’re in the desert, for one, wear boots. And two, don’t bring your cellphone or go searching for reception, because you probably won’t find it anyways. And you might step into a pit of rattlesnakes.”
While it may be tempting to say the teen who survived her steps into a snake nest should have been looking out, let she among us who has not gone on a signal hunt in low-service areas throw the first stone.