A simple family dinner unexpectedly turned dangerous earlier this month, when a copperhead snake at a LongHorn Steakhouse bit a Virginia woman several times, leaving her on crutches with a three-month recovery period ahead of her.
According to a report from CBS affiliate WTVR, the incident took place at a LongHorn Steakhouse in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, as Rachel Myrick, her boyfriend, her 13-year-old son, and other friends and family members headed to the restaurant for dinner on September 12. Myrick, who was wearing sandals at the time, was quickly struck by the eight-inch-long snake, getting bitten three times in the foot and the toes.
At first, Myrick thought she had gotten stung by a bee, but it wasn’t long before she realized that it was a copperhead snake that bit her in the LongHorn Steakhouse’s foyer. She recalled yelling out repeatedly that she got bit by something, as her boyfriend, Michael Clem, recognized the creature that had bitten her through his 15 years raising reptiles.
“They say that your life can change in a moment… and they’re absolutely correct,” Myrick commented.
A separate report from The Free Lance-Star detailed what happened next, as Clem, with the help of Myrick’s son Dylan, stomped on the snake and tried to kill it. Clem called for assistance, and EMTs soon arrived at the restaurant, confirming that the animal that attacked Myrick was a copperhead snake.
With Rachel Myrick’s foot swelling as she waited for the ambulance to take her to the hospital, Clem reportedly asked his girlfriend’s family and friends to “go ahead and eat.” After the restaurant manager filed a complaint report with the chain, it was decided that Myrick’s party would eat for free.
According to Live Science, copperheads are among the most common North American snakes, and also the most likely to bite. The creatures have heat-sensory pits between their eyes and nostrils on each side of their head, allowing them to detect even the smallest change in temperature, and accurately determine the source of heat, which normally originates from their would-be prey. While copperhead venom is “relatively mild,” there are rare cases where their bites end up killing humans.
With almost two weeks having passed since the copperhead snake incident at the LongHorn Steakhouse, Myrick is now on the road to recovery, having been released from Mary Washington Hospital in Fredericksburg, Virginia last Sunday, September 17. However, it could be a long and arduous period of recovery, as Myrick will be sidelined for the next three months or so. The snake bites resulted in some swelling past her knee area, as well as on her hip and left thigh.
“There’s very little that I can do. I can’t work. I can’t take my kids anywhere,” lamented Myrick, who is still on crutches as of this writing.
Meanwhile, it’s still unsure how the copperhead snake entered the LongHorn Steakhouse’s foyer, according to restaurant spokesperson Hunter Robinson. He told WTVR that the incident was “highly unusual,” and that the restaurant is working on ways to ensure that similar incidents do not happen in the future.
[Featured Image by Dennis W. Donohue/Shutterstock]