By RICH KEITH Four Points News
On Friday, Vandegrift High School senior Sam Yarborough of Steiner Ranch was bitten three times on the ankle by a rattlesnake.
“I waited a few minutes before calling my parents because I didn’t know how serious it was. But then my ankle swelled quickly and the nerves in upper thigh started to hurt and then I knew it was serious,” Sam said.
Sam’s father quickly drove him to Lakeway Regional Medical Center where antivenom was administered.
“The worst part was the drive to LRMC because of the pain,” Sam recalls.
He started out the afternoon playing tennis with friends and then they planned to swim. The six boys were going through the backyard gate at friend, Jake Nanez’s house when the rattlesnake, which was just inside the gate, started striking Sam’s ankle.
The snake quickly left the area and could not be found.
Sam needed overnight observation but could not be admitted because there was no pediatrician on duty that day at Lake Travis Medical. According to law, minors may only be admitted to a hospital by a pediatrician, mom Carri Yarborough learned.
A call to Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texaslead to another dead end. Dell accepts only patients 16 and younger.
“The ages 16 to 18 is a really vulnerable place to be,” Carri said.
Finally an ambulance was called to transport Sam to University Medical Center Brackenridge for further treatment.
Now Sam is on crutches and can get around a little, which is tough because band camp started this week. He can’t march the new patterns for at least a week, his mom said.
There will be no long-term effects from the snakebite because he is healthy and got treatment quickly. But with any open wound, the thing to watch out for is a secondary infection.
“I learned if this happens again, I won’t wait to call someone,” Sam said.