What is in this article?:
- Two rattlesnakes bite Georgia crop consultant scouting soybean field
- First ER visit didn't stop the venom
- What are the chances of getting bit by two venomous snakes?
- Speculation on cause
- It was a Sept. 10 around 1:30 p.m. in a soybean field a few miles south of Shellman in southwest Georgia where crop consultant Kevin Cotton was bitten by two rattlesnakes.
- In total, it took 26 vials of antivenin, two different ER visits and four nights in the hospital to start to get over the snake bites.
- Across the country there are 7,000 venomous snake bites annually. The majority of those bites happen to people who handle the venomous snakes regularly, like zookeepers and pet owners.
CROP CONSULTANT Kevin Cotton in soybean field near Shellman, Ga., Oct. 28, the same field where he was bitten by two timber rattlesnakes at the same time six weeks earlier.
Kevin Cotton never heard the snakes in the soybean field.
The first one bit him and he knew it was bad. He quickly stepped a few feet away and that's where the other one hit him. Two rattlesnakes bit him within seconds of each other.
It was Sept. 10, a Tuesday, and around 1:30 p.m. in a field a few miles south of Shellman in southwest Georgia. The crop consultant (Yes, he is a cotton consultant, too, with the last name Cotton) thought ... Well, we can't say here what really crossed his mind or what came out of his mouth.
“Well, I knew what had happened when the first one hit. You couldn’t see through the canopy of the beans and I moved about five feet away to step away and when I did that’s when I felt the other bite,” Cotton said.
He stepped much quicker to get out of the field.
The snakes bit Cotton, who is 49, on the right leg, once behind the ankle near the Achilles’ tendon and the other tapped him a few inches higher up on the calf muscle. It hurt immediately. The snakes vanished. He never saw them. A doctor told him later two snakes bit him. The bite marks were different, different widths apart which indicated two snakes of different sizes.
Cotton kept calm but he was several hundred yards away from his truck. “I knew that I just needed to keep it calm and not get the adrenaline running and get myself to the hospital, but I didn’t know if the venom was about to move straight to my heart and kill me there. … And was thinking, ‘I don’t want to die in a soybean field. At least let it be in a cotton field,’” he said, now taking a lighthearted view of the extremely rare occurrence that set him on a weeks-long adventure to recovery.
He flagged down two gentlemen who happened to be working a pivot line nearby in the field. The workers first thought he was waving hello and responded in kind. But Cotton waved a bit more feverish and pointed to his leg. They picked him up.
Cotton wanted them to just take him to his truck so he could drive himself to the hospital, but one of the guys took him on to the ER at a small hospital in Cuthbert, Ga. Cotton had already been on his phone with other people and the ER there was expecting him.
Cotton got eight vials of synthetic antivenin in Cuthbert. He stayed the night there and was released the next morning and was told to take it easy and come back if things changed.