After treatment for a snake bite from one of the world’s deadliest vipers, an unknown North Carolina man is out of the woods.
The Gaboon viper, one of the world’s most venomous snakes, may be found in Sub-Saharan Africa’s rainforests and savannas. However, while caring for the snake, this Tar Heel State man was bitten months ago. Fortunately, the individual had experienced assistance nearby to save him.
The man’s adventure was recently covered by Field and Stream.
In the middle of the night, a viper bite call went out, involving S.C.
Dr. Jarratt Lark and Thad Bowman, both of South Carolina, were contacted late one night about the man’s viper bite. Emergency personnel transported the man to a Wilmington hospital and needed advice on the man’s care.
“We’ve dealt with exotic bites in the past, but nothing to this extent,” Bowman told WMBF in Myrtle Beach.
Bowman, a Myrtle Beach Fire department paramedic, and Grand Strand Regional Medical Center emergency physician Lark took part in the victim’s treatment. Both men know a thing or two about venomous bites, with Bowman having access to anti-venom through his part-time job. The South Carolina resident works at Animal Adventure Alligator Park in North Myrtle Beach.
Over one week, Lark gave the man 44 anti-venom treatments. Field and Stream said it was more than the physician had ever given a victim twice the usual amount.
The gaboon viper, 0.035 ML of it’s venom is enough to kill a person weighing around 70 kilos. pic.twitter.com/TNVmD3l1MZ
— Black Metal Succubus (@SuccubusMetal) March 4, 2022
On the one hand, the man survived and underwent months of physical therapy and dialysis at the hospital. On the other hand, he lost two fingers.
But fortunately, he’s back to working two jobs. Lark said the man had adapted to his disability and is “very functional.”
“He’s truly a miracle to be alive and to be as functional as he is,” Dr. Lark told WMBF.
The Myrtle Beach Fire Department honored the physician with a Civilian Lifesaving Award for his actions in treating the patient recently.
Congratulations to Dr. Jarratt Lark for receiving the Civilian Life Saving Award from @MyrtleBeachFire today! Dr. Lark was nominated by the City of Myrtle Beach after he & MBFD Paramedic Thad Bowman saved the life of a man bitten by a Gaboon Viper. 🧡💙 #CareLikeFamily pic.twitter.com/DB5FUJqk8t
— GrandStrand_SC (@GrandStrand_SC) March 1, 2022
Snake Bite Victim Got A Near-Fatal Bite
After the bite, Bowman remembered asking around about the snake. He soon learned it was a miracle the man was still living.
“We consulted with a doctor in Colorado who goes to Africa all the time,” Bowman told WAVY. “From what he’s seen in the field there, and speaking with some other experts in Africa, this is going to be the worst Gaboon bite that’s ever survived.”
The snake is not aggressive, but its two-inch fangs are the longest of any venomous snake. The reptile also makes more venom than any snake outside the King Cobra. Usually, the viper’s bite victim is extremely painful and induces death.
According to WAVY, the venom rapidly paralyzes a victim and digests the snake’s prey. It also keeps a victim’s blood from clotting. This North Carolina man suffered those devastating effects.
This article by Matthew Memrick was first published by The Outsider on 10 March 2022.
What you can do
Support ‘Fighting for Wildlife’ by donating as little as $1 – It only takes a minute. Thank you.
Fighting for Wildlife supports approved wildlife conservation organizations, which spend at least 80 percent of the money they raise on actual fieldwork, rather than administration and fundraising. When making a donation you can designate for which type of initiative it should be used – wildlife, oceans, forests or climate.