Elizabeth Bowen was walking in the yard of her new home when she felt what she thought was some briars scratching her leg, her grandmother Bessie Fields said.
“She didn’t know what had happened at first,” Fields said. “Then her mother saw that it had started bleeding and had a yellow discharge.”
Elizabeth’s mother, DeAnna Bowen, knew immediately what had happened to her daughter. She took Elizabeth to Williamson Memorial Hospital.
“By the time they got to the hospital, her teeth were chattering and her mother thought she was going into shock,” Elizabeth’s grandmother said. “Her teeth were chattering and she was in a lot of pain. She said it felt cold, like two knives were stabbing her leg.”
Elizabeth’s grandmother said within 12 hours swelling had gone from her toes to her knee.
Medical personnel at Memorial gave Elizabeth antibiotics, and she was airlifted to Cabell Huntington Hospital.
“The flight nurse administered antivenom before she even put Elizabeth on the helicopter,” Fields said.
After arriving at Cabell, treatment consisted of simple observation. She was released two days later.
Although her family has been told to be aware of signs of bruising or additional swelling, Elizabeth seems to be making a full recovery.
Although the snake that bit Elizabeth was never found, it is believed to be a rattlesnake. The family had just lived in the home a month, and the girl is taking no chances on another bite.
“She hasn’t gone back outside,” her grandmother said.