An Arizona man who was trying to show off to friends and family at a backyard barbecue party by picking up a rattlesnake and posing for pictures managed to survive two bites – although the stunt cost him five comatose days in the hospital and a brush with death.
Victor Pratt, 48, was celebrating his child’s birthday party when a rattlesnake slithered into his backyard, AZ Central reported. Never one to pass up a good opportunity to show off, Pratt decided he would snatch up the venomous creature and give an impromptu lesson on how to cook a wild rattlesnake.
Before taking the snake to the grill, though, Pratt began posing for photos in front of friends and family, basking in the attention. It wasn’t long before he lost control of the angry critter, which retaliated by biting Pratt on the face and on the chest. He immediately told his family to take him to the hospital.
“I said, ‘We gotta go now,’ because I knew what was going to happen,” Pratt said; he had been bitten once before at age 19, evidently without learning his lesson.
Doctors said that Pratt was fortunate to be alive thanks to swift treatment.
“If they can get their airway established, they’re very lucky,” said Dr. Steven Curry, the hospital’s toxicology director. “That is, you’re lucky to have been bitten and been able to make it to the hospital in just a few minutes in order to have those emergency procedures done that are needed to save your life.”
Pratt was put under anesthesia and administered a whopping 26 doses of antivenom. He was kept on heavy sedatives with his hands wrapped in large bandages to prevent him from pulling out his airway tube. The treatment caused Pratt to lose five days of memory, but at the very least, he has finally given up snake-catching.
“Ain’t gonna play with snakes no more,” he vowed.