Paris Montgomery of Huffman, Texas, is a cheerleader who was taking some time to practice her flips in her own backyard. It's not uncommon to find her tumbling around. She uses her trampoline to practice safely to work out.
Like most kids do these days, Paris likes to capture her workout on video. This time she didn't capture her flips. Paris thought she had stepped on a stick, but in actual fact, she had been bitten by a venomous Copperhead snake and she has it all on camera.
“Something just started hurting,” she told KTRK . “I didn’t know it was a snake.”
“When she first came to me, she said, ‘Mom, I think something was in my shoe, or I got poked by a stick’, and so I didn’t really think it was that urgent until it started swelling. Then I thought maybe a bee stung on her, so I went and got some baking soda and put on it, and it kept getting worse, then wondered if maybe it was a poisonous spider because I thought it was something in her shoe because all she remembered was taking her shoe off and it hurting,” says Tracy, her mother.
They called an ambulance and Paris was rushed to Texas Children’s Hospital. “On the way to the emergency room was the worst I think. It felt just like stinging going through my foot and leg,” says Paris.
That's when she remembered, she had it all on video. Together with her mother and the Doctor, they all watched the video. Using the zoom function, they could see it was a snakebite. "Even when she saw it, she said ‘there’s no way a snake bit me and I didn’t know it’, and I’m like, it’s on video,” says Tracy.
Paris was prescribed four doses of anti-venom, administered through IV.
Paris is now home and the swelling has gone down. Even though her father cleaned up the area in an effort to protect her, Paris is still a little scared. She is planning to be more aware than ever.
You can watch the whole video here, zoom in to see the snake.
Here is an edited version in which you can see the snake a little more clearly.
Texas is home to over 105 different species and subspecies of snakes. Copperheads have chestnut or reddish-brown crossbands on a lighter colored body. These snakes are found in rocky areas and wooded bottomlands and are rare in dry areas.
What to do if you are bitten according to Texas Parks and Wildlife
- Assume envenomation has occurred, especially if initial symptoms are present. Initial symptoms of pit viper bites include fang puncture marks; in addition, they almost always include immediate burning pain at the bite site, immediate and usually progressive local swelling within five minutes, as well as local discoloration of the skin. Initial symptoms of coral snake bites include tremors, slurred speech, blurred or double vision, drowsiness or euphoria and a marked increase in salivation within four hours; however, life-threatening effects from coral snake envenomation may not be evident for 24 hours or longer.
- Identify the species of venomous snake that inflicted the bite, if possible, taking care to avoid another person being bitten. Identification is not necessary, but may be helpful.
- Keep the victim as calm as possible. This helps reduce the spread of venom and the onset of shock.
- Keep yourself and any other members of the group calm as well. This will help reassure the victim and ensure that the appropriate first-aid measures are followed, as well as preventing anyone else from becoming injured.
- Know and be alert for the symptoms of shock, and institute the proper treatment should it ensue. Difficulty in breathing and/or kidney failure are frequent symptoms of envenomation.
- Wash the bite area with a disinfectant if available.
- Remove jewelry such as rings and watches, as well as tight-fitting clothes, before the onset of swelling.
- Reduce or prevent movement of a bitten extremity, using a splint if possible; this helps decrease the spread of venom. For the same reason, position the extremity below the level of the heart.
- Get the victim to a medical facility as soon as possible and begin treatment there with intravenous antivenom, crystalloid solutions, and antibiotics. Antivenom treatment is generally most effective within the first four hours of envenomation and is ineffective after 8-10 hours.