Andalusia Teenager Hospitalized for Rattlesnake Bite

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By Amanda Wade

An Andalusia teenager landed in the hospital for two nights after simply helping his mom clear their yard of fallen branches.

15 year old Peyton Meeks was doing normal chores, but when he lifted one branch, he found the shock of his life, a rattlesnake more than four feet long, "The snake was just laying there curled up and it striked me on my foot," says Meeks.

He is heading home after two nights in the hospital, the first in the intensive care unit. He says he did not see the rattlesnake before it struck his foot.

The snake bit through his tennis shoe, leaving fang marks. His mother, Rena Meeks, says within 20 minutes his foot was swelling, throbbing, and bruised, "It's been a scareful situation cause you don't know what your kid, what's going to happen to your kid or nothing."

Meeks' mother says he received 14 units of snake anti-venom at Andalusia Regional Hospital.

Dr. Mark Griffin, the Medical Director of the Emergency Department at Andalusia Regional, says there are tell-tell signs that you have been bitten by a snake,"There's a burning sensation, usually a feeling like you just got hit with something. A stick or whatever, but it hurts. And that's the number one sensation usually. The burning and then a pain. There's generally no question that you've been bitten when it happens."

He also adds if you do find yourself in a situation with a snakebite, "Don't cut it, don't suck the venom out, don't tie a belt around it. Do get some ice, or as cool of whatever you can find, and wrap the extremity or whatever part of you got bit, and just cool it down. That's the thing you can do. And then just to seek medical care immediately."

The Meeks family says Peyton is home recovering and should be able to start walking again by Monday.

Experts say if you do see a snake, the best thing to do is leave it alone and it will eventually go away.