Snake Bite!

“Can someone help me, please!” a woman shouted across the parking lot as we left the Nature Center at White Tank Mountain Regional Park and headed for our car. We could see that she was crying and stressed, as she pointed to her van with its open door and a young child sitting in her car seat. “Don’t let my daughter get bitten by the snake!”

Under the van, out of the heat of the day, a Western Diamondback rattlesnake coiled in the shade. “Were you bitten?” we asked the woman.


At that point, Chuck hurried to our car to retrieve the snake hook he keeps for situations like this. When he returned to the van, he hooked the diamondback and set it down in vegetation far enough from the van to be out of harm’s way while a maintenance worker from the Park went looking for a bucket to contain the snake for later relocation.

Hooking the Rattlesnake


In the Bucket to be Reloacated

In the meantime, my friend Kaye and I approached the woman, whose name we later learned is Briauna. She was holding her cell phone, still worried about her daughter. We could see the fang marks from the snake bite on her ankle.  “Call 911,” I told her, but later realized I should have asked Kaye to make that call. Without hesitation, however, Kaye took the woman’s phone and contacted 911 herself.

While Kaye was calling, I asked Briauna if she wore anything like rings that should be removed in case of swelling. Still stressed, she removed her watch. “You need to relax a bit,” I told her as I led her to her van so she could sit and try to calm down. “Keep the leg well below your heart,” I advised, even knowing that it would be difficult for her to raise it higher. Knowing that her daughter was no longer in danger, Briauna relaxed as we talked. The child sat unstrapped in her car seat calmly playing with play dough.

Because emergency personnel were close, it wasn’t long after Kaye had called that an emergency vehicle drove up, lights flashing. The driver jumped from the vehicle and began administering care. Borrowing my pen, he marked the area of swelling on her leg. Then he asked me if I had any pictures of the snake so he could identify it. I showed him the pictures I had taken as the snake was removed and later placed in the bucket provided by the park employee.

Medical Personnel attending to Briauna

A fire truck and an ambulance arrived within minutes of the first responder, and the medical personnel joined in the treatment. Meanwhile, Briauna called her husband to let him know what had happened. With Briauna’s permission, Kaye removed her daughter from the van and carried her into the White Tank Library where Kaye pulled a book from the shelf and sat reading to the child.

Briauna’s husband arrived not long after her call, and he ran into the library to fetch his daughter. Briauna was placed into the ambulance on her way to the hospital. Her husband carried his daughter to his car and waved his thanks to us as he drove away.  A friend of his had arrived, as well, and he jumped into their van and followed.

We later learned that Briauna was helicoptered to a downtown hospital for treatment and kept several days while the swelling and pain increased. But from her emails and Facebook postings, she sounded in good spirits.

“Live in Arizona, they said,” she told her friends. “It’ll be fun, they said.”

Then she added, “I’m okay, just trying to have a laugh about it.”

8 thoughts on “Snake Bite!”

  1. Thank you all for your quick action and compassion. Had it not been for you, things could have been much worse. You all coming to help immediately made all the difference! You all kept my daughter safe and happy and for that, I am so thankful! Your teamwork got me to medical care that I desperately needed. Chuck, Betty and Kaye thank you from
    the bottom of my heart! I’d include the other gentleman but I didn’t catch his name in the chaos.

    • Hello Briauna,

      Betty & I are thrilled that you have recovered a once in a lifetime experience! We, too, are glad that we got a chance to meet you at that critical time and know the key to getting thru an incident like that is very “time critical” Your attitude could not have been better and that shows what a fantastic person you are! We hope to see you and Kennedy again out at White Tank!


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