87-year-old Tahoka man recovering from multiple rattlesnake bites

By Katie Bauer  - bio | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Several people have left comments on our Facebook page, saying they've seen more snakes on the South Plains since the July 4th weekend floods. One Tahoka woman is just glad her father is alive after being bitten by a rattlesnake multiple times.

Penny Redman said she always knew her dad was a fighter. "He's been a real trooper, he's a tough man," said Redman.

A couple of weeks ago, 87-year-old Pug Parker of Tahoka went outside to get something out of a toolbox. "He's diabetic so his vision is very poor, he reached in with his left hand because he can't see, feeling for a screw and evidently there was a mom and some babies," said Redman.

Parker was bitten ten times. Baby rattlesnake bites are more venomous than adult rattlesnakes. "They don't know how to stop releasing the venom. They release all they have. Adults can judge how much they want to release," said Redman. Parker was rushed by AeroCare to Covenant Hospital, and on the way to the hospital, the flight nurse administered anti-venom in the helicopter.

A few years ago, this immediate medical attention may not have been possible. AeroCare started carrying the anti-venom in 2008. "When AeroCare made the decision to carry the anti-venom, it was something that we could deliver to the rural communities that might not have the resources locally," says flight nurse Bobby Sanchez.

Medical experts say after you are bitten, you have a four-hour window to seek medical attention, but the sooner you can get doses of the anti-venom, the better, and Redman believes that is why her father is alive today. "He's a miracle... he is."

Parker was checked into Covenant Specialty Hospital on June 24th. Doctors say he could be ready to go back to Tahoka as early as next week. His daughter tells us that he is healing like no diabetic should heal.

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