A 2-year-old boy from Grapevine is recovering in the hospital after being bitten by a rattlesnake near the panhandle last weekend.
Trent Hadley said he and his son Parker were gathering wood for a fire to roast smores when the snake lunged, striking the boy in the leg.
Hadley and his family rushed the child to the nearest hospital where he was stabilized before being flown to Children's Medical Center in Dallas for more treatment. The family says a picture they snapped of the snake may have helped save the child's life.
“One of the most important things we learned was to identify the snake immediately so they know the best way to treat and so because we had that, we were able get the anti-venom going within an hour of the bite so we were rockin’ and rollin’ quickly,” said dad Trent Hadley.
Over the past six days, Parker has received more than 22 vials of antivenom.
Herpetologist Carl Franklin says snakes are very active this time of year due to the cooler temperatures and it being breeding season.
Using a preserved adult rattlesnake as an example, Franklin says the snake detects a potential threat, like a child, through its eyes and heat-seeking senses. He believes the baby rattlesnake attacked Parker out of fear.
"A rattlesnake at 14 inches lying on the ground is about an inch tall,” he said. “And so a 2-year-old compared to that is still like a 30-foot tall giant walking up on it. And the snake doesn't know that the 2-year-old is a sweet kid.”
The family says Parker is just about ready to go home nearly a week after the bite. They're just waiting on blood work to get the all-clear and hope to have him go home on Saturday.