A Holly Hill man is recovering after receiving two bites from a copperhead on Monday night.
Daniel Singletary is thankful the 14-inch long slithery creature didn’t cause any further harm to him, his wife Hope or their six dogs.
Their encounter with the snake began when Hope let the dogs out. The youngest dog jumped back.
Hope went outside to check on him and discovered a copperhead snake.
She brought the dogs back into the house. Hope then called her husband, asking for him to hurry to their Peake Street home so he could kill the snake.
When he got home, he asked her where she saw the snake.
She told him, but he “walked on the opposite side of the yard to get the shovel and that’s when it got him,” Hope said.
“I think he probably stepped on it,” she added.
“When he turned his head back to tell me he was getting the shovel, it got him,” she said.
“Oh my gosh, it bit me!” he called out.
Hope said she first thought her husband was kidding, but she soon realized he wasn’t joking and then called 911.
Daniel killed the copperhead, but not before the snake struck him twice on the inside of his right ankle. He didn’t have time to move quickly to get out of the way, his wife said.
She called 911 and also texted her brother, an Orangeburg County EMT who was at the Eutawville substation.
Daniel said the bites hurt and burned at first, but the pain was manageable.
By the time they arrived at the Regional Medical Center, his pain level was between a 6 and 7 out of 10.
“It was burning still and he was still in good spirits,” Hope said.
But all of a sudden, the pain intensified, she added.
“The swelling started to get bad, the color left him and he felt nauseated,” she said.
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At one point, Daniel felt like his bones may poke out of his leg, the swelling felt so tight.
Nurses monitored his blood for the presence of snake venom so they would know when to administer antivenin, a medication used in the treatment of venomous bites and stings.
It was 36 hours before he began to feel better.
As of Wednesday afternoon, his leg remained swollen and discolored. He is recovering at home.
He’s expected to make a full recovery, but he’s currently under orders to remain on bedrest and keep his leg elevated for a few days.
The couple says it’s important to remain as calm as possible after receiving a snake bite, or two.
They also say to call 911 immediately.
At first the pain may not feel intense, but after a little while, it will increase, they said.
According to the Palmetto Poison Center in Columbia, “The majority of poisonous snake bites are not fatal, but they can cause major complications.”
It suggests following these instructions:
• Remain calm.
• Wash the bite with soap and water.
• Do not apply a tourniquet or ice.
• Do not try to suck the venom from the bite site.
• Seek immediate medical attention and call the Palmetto Poison Center.
“Snakes blend in very well to their environment. Many people are often bitten while gardening,” said Dr. Jill Michels, managing director of the Palmetto Poison Center.
“We recommend treating all snakes as poisonous and advise against picking them up,” she added.
According to the S.C. Department of Natural Resources, the copperhead is the most common venomous snake found throughout the state.
Copperheads can reach a length of four feet, but the average adult copperhead is between two and three feet.
To reach the Palmetto Poison Center, call 1-800-222-1222. Services are free and available 24 hours a day.