Hunter recovering from rattlesnake bite

Published 5:00 am Tuesday, April 17, 2001

A turkey hunting trip turned into an emergency Saturday morningwhen a Brookhaven man was bitten by a rattlesnake in FranklinCounty.

Wilber Shell, 61, of 909 Morningside Drive, now a patient atKing’s Daughters Medical Center, said today he was “honestlyfeeling fine” after the dangerous situation he encountered during afather-son hunting trip.

“My leg is swollen about twice the size it ought to be, andthere is some pain in it, but I’m doing good,” said Shell.

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He was transferred to KDMC after being bitten at about 6:20 a.m.Saturday while walking to a hunting spot with his son, Matt.

“It was still dark outside, and we were walking through an areawhere the ground was pretty much covered with vines,” Shellsaid.

The snake bit him on the left leg “just above the boot,” Shellsaid.

Shell said he did not immediately see the snake, and it took “asecond” to realize what had bitten him.

“I couldn’t see it until Matt shined the light on it,” saidShell.

His son then shot the snake, which was five-feet long, andhurried to get his father back to their vehicle, parked about halfa mile away. The first stop was the Franklin County MemorialHospital.

“They started the anti-venom there and sent me to King’sDaughters. It took 11 viles of anti-venom,” said Shell.

Shell was admitted in the Intensive Care Unit but was movedSunday to the Telemetry Unit, where he was listed in stablecondition today, according to a hospital spokesman.

Shell said his body seems to have reacted well to theanti-venom, but he was not sure how long he would have to stay inthe hospital.

The snake left bite marks with a one and one-quarter inch spreadon Shell’s leg. He said he was thankful to be recovering so wellafter a potentially deadly bite.