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One persons struggle after Rattle Snake Bite. Picturesshow surgery, so if that is going to bother you, becareful. It's hard to look at these photographsOn July 21 , just after my 13th birthday, I was bitten by aNorthern Pacific rattlesnake (the snake was originallyidentified as a Western Diamondback rattlesnake, but thatspecies is not found near Yosemite). I was located on atrail in a hiking area near Yosemite National Park,California. The bite occurred when I was sitting on a smallboulder at a distance of 4.5 miles from the trailhead withmy cabin group at camp.I had my arms dangling at my side, and a 5 foot longrattlesnake bit me in the middle of my left palm. From thispoint, an amazing rescue took place, taking 4 hours totransport me the 4.5 miles to thetrailhead.The camp director had previously called the hospital, and ahelicopter was waiting at the trailhead. During the 30minute helicopter ride I was going in and out ofconsciousness, having trouble keeping my eyesopen.We arrived at the Modesto , CA hospital, where the doctor inthe emergency room decided that my case was too severe totreat at that medical centre. He told me this, which was thelast thing I heard before goingunconscious.Although I was unconscious for approximately the next 24 hours, Ihave heard about the following events from myparents.
This is why I hate snakes...not good!
I was taken from the Modesto hospital to the UC Davis MedicalCentre in Sacramento , the trauma centre for NorthernCalifornia My snake bite was determined to be too severe forModesto to deal with. At the UC Davis hospital I underwent afasciotomy, which involved the doctors cutting open my armfrom the palm up to about the middle of mybiceps.This was to relieve the extreme pressure that had built up in myarm From the rattlesnake venom, making my arm as hard as arock until the fasciotomy.I spent the next 35 days in the UC Davis hospital, had 8surgeries performed for cleaning out the dead tissue from myarm, and finally had a skin graft from my leg to close up myarm, which had remained open for 30 days after thefasciotomy until the skin graft surgery. That is 10surgeries in total at UC Davis.I was released from the! hospital on August 24, had 4 monthsof intense physical therapy, and flew to Duke UniversityMedical Centre in North Carolina for a follow-up surgery.This was a vascular flap surgery, during which they took achunk of skin and muscle from my back, attached its bloodvessels to the ones in my arm using microsurgery, and thenstitched it to my arm. Although 2 emergency surgeries wererequired within 24 hours on account of blood loss, thevascular flap was a success, and after 6 more months ofphysical therapy, my hand had a significant improvement inmobility from when I left UC Davis and could move eachfinger only 2-3 millimetres.My hand now has fully mobility and is about 80% as strong as itwas before, thanks to my Dad and I resuming our rockclimbing after a 1 year break due to the lack of strength inmy left hand. I use it for about 90% of the things I used todo with my left hand (I am right handed). 13 surgeries,$700,000 worth of helicopter flights, surgeries, andhospital stays (paid by my insurance of course), and 20months later, I am very happy with the outcome of thisexperience and my good fortune of getting through all thiswithout any significant loss.
This was a fasciotomy, which involved the doctors cutting open my arm from the palm up to about the middle of my biceps.
After spending 35 days in the UC Davis hospital, had 8 surgeries performed for cleaning out the dead tissue.
This is a skin graft from my leg to close up myarm, which had remained open for 30 days after thefasciotomy until the skin graft surgery.