Snake Bite: Fresno County Man Gets Record 88 Vials of Anti-Venom
By Erik Rosales
SQUAW VALLEY, Calif. (KMPH) — Let's face it, summer time is here and so is snake season.A Fresno County man knows that all too well.Right now, he is still recovering from being bitten by a venomous northern pacific rattlesnake weeks ago.The man now possibly holds a world record after being given 88 vials of anti-venom.Snake bite victim, Vince Thomas says, "Oddly enough it healed like a snake skin. It shed in one piece. I just went like this and it pealed right off like a snake skin."Thomas is known as the "Critter Catcher" in the Squaw Valley area, because he rescues and removes snakes and other wildlife from people's homes.He was trying to remove the snake from his dog's house.The 7-foot northern pacific rattler got him in his right hand.Thomas says he's been dry bit twice before, but when he saw his hand begin to swell, he knew he was in trouble.Thomas says, "I went like this and grabbed a 15 cc horse syringe and jammed it in the hole and pulled as much as could out. Then moved it up here and decreased the flow. I didn't want it all hitting my heart at once."He made a quick call to a friend, and started down the hill.Thomas says, "I said you got to get life flight out here I'm not going to make it. So I hopped in truck and drove down from Miramonte to Dunlap and got there about the time life flight arrived."Thomas says he's thankful to the doctors at Kaiser Hospital for saving his life. Friday afternoon he delivered pizza to them.As for the snake, Thomas still has her as a constant reminder to be on guard.Thomas still has trouble closing his right hand.He says doctors told him it could take up to a year to fully recover.As for the medical bill, thankfully he is fully covered.
KMPH Fox 26 is the Central Valley's news leader, covering Fresno, California and the surrounding area, including Clovis, Madera, Hanford, Visalia, Biola, Kerman, Tranquillity, San Joaquin, Reedley, Coalinga, Avenal, Lemoore, Tulare, Selma, Caruthers, Tollhouse, Three Rivers, Porterville, and Merced.