On May 27, Milo Sutcliffe and his wife, Jennifer, were doing yard work on their property when they encountered a four-foot rattlesnake. Milo, acting quickly, cut the head off the snake with a shovel. As he bent down to pick up the rattlesnake’s remains, he was bitten by the severed head, receiving a full dose of venom.
The incident took place at the Sutcliffe’s home near Lake Corpus Christi in Texas, according to a report by the Daily Mail.
When a rattlesnake is decapitated, it can stay alive for up to an hour, giving them the ability to attack their aggressor.
“Which, in that case, since there is no body, it released all its venom into him at that point, so he had a lot of venoms,” said Jennifer during an interview.
After Milo was bitten, Jennifer called 911, loaded Milo into a vehicle, and began the 45-mile drive to Corpus Christi hospital.
Along the way, Milo began having seizures and started to lose his vision. He was bleeding internally, requiring him to be airlifted to the hospital.
During Milo’s first 24 hours of treatment, Jennifer was informed by doctors that her husband might not survive the bite. According to her, 26 doses of antivenom were administered to Milo in an attempt to save his life. Typically, a snake bite patient only requires two to four doses to ward off the effects of the venom.
Milo was later listed in stable condition, though his kidney function remained weak.
Michael Halpert, a trauma surgeon, stated, “There are about 6,000 to 8,000 snake bites per year in the country, and 10 to 12 people die.”
When discussing the home remedy of trying to suck out the venom, Halpert said, “No, you don’t want to do any of that.”
“You just want to keep the victim calm, keep the bitten area above the level of the heart slightly, and get the patient to the nearest emergency room.”