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Dad Picked Up Wrong Snake, And Now He's Fighting For His Life

A father from Alabama was trying to help his brother by catching a snake. He thought it was a harmless milk snake, and unfortunately, he was wrong. It was one of the deadliest snakes there is. Unfortunately, the father of six didn't figure it out until it bit him.

Jeffrey Phillips picked up the snake for his brother when he thought he was dealing with a milk snake, which is a non-venomous species. He was actually picking up a coral snake, though. The snakes look very similar, but coral snakes have extremely potent venom.

The venom of the coral snake is a neurotoxin. The bite will not swell or look suspicious, nor will it be unreasonably painful. Within a few hours of being bitten, however, the victim will begin experiencing paralysis of the breathing muscles.

If a victim doesn't get a respirator and a dose of anti-venom, he will usually die. Ideally, the venom would be delivered within 4 to 6 hours of the bite.

Phillips was rushed to Meridian, Mississippi to be treated at Anderson Hospital. Antivenom was flown in, but there was nearly a 40 hour delay in getting treatment. This resulted in a lot of damage to hiss nervous system. He's currently in intensive care, and is expected to live, but he will need to remain in intensive care for weeks.

Even after he gets out of the hospital, it'll be a long road to recovery.

"The snake bite has damaged his vision and he has become paralyzed," the family said on a GoFundMe campaign page. Phillips didn't have insurance, and the medical bills are going to be exorbitant.

"Due to the fact he did not receive the antivenom promptly it has caused many neurological problems," the page explains. "He is still very sick and still in the Intensive Care Unit and could remain for a few more weeks. He will then need extensive physical therapy to learn how to walk, eat, write and all other every day activities."

Phillip's fiancé, Angela Patrick, is devastated. The couple were set to be married in August, but they have had to postpone the wedding due to the injuries.

"Seeing you lying there like this has broken my heart in two," Patrick said in a Facebook post. "You are loved by so many, all of the calls, texts and visitors - most importantly the prayers have really meant a lot to us all. I'm so ready to see that little grin of yours again, you are my best friend. I need you to get better, I can't imagine life without you in it."
Judy Kell, Phillips' mother, says she's just relieved that her son is breathing again right now.

"I've had my breakdowns, you know trying to hold it together. It's scary knowing that my son could die," Kell said. "They're still running different tests and he hopefully will regain some of his use. We just really don't know.”

The coral snake and the milk snake look very similar. Both are red snakes of about the same size with black and yellow bands. On the coral snake, the yellow bands touch the red.

On the milk snake, the black bands touch the red. There’s even a rhyme to help people tell the difference, which goes, “Red touch yellow, kill a fellow; red touch black, friend of Jack.”

Source: Daily Mail
Photos: WTOK-TV, GoFundMe via Eklist

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