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Boy, 14, Bitten By Diamondback Rattle Snake Shares Experience

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STUART (CBS 4) — A Florida teenager bitten by the deadliest snake in North America spoke for the first time about his brush with death.

Andrew Potts,14, said he was playing in the woods near his home in Stuart when he was bitten by the Eastern Diamondback rattle snake. He showed CBS4 exactly where the snake sank in one of its fangs.

“You see that little circle right there? That’s where it got me,” Potts said.

According to the Miami Anti Venom Unit, the Eastern Diamondback Rattle snake has enough venom to fill a Martini glass. That’s enough venom to kill five people.

Chief Al Cruz with the unit said Potts is lucky to be alive and that’s only because he stayed calm.

Potts said he used what he learned in his real life experience.

“I remember reading in a book the fastest anyone has ever died from a snake bite is because of panicking in 15 minutes,” Potts said.

Potts said he remembered that and instead of running, he jogged home and told his mother, Almeda Laster, he needed to go to the hospital.

After the bite, Potts said he experience some symptoms. His back started to hurt and his leg began to swell and bruise. He said he also began vomiting and didn’t stop for four hours.

He was moved from Martin Country hospital to another hospital, and six hours after the snake bite Potts received the first vial of anti venom.

Potts was then flown to Miami Children’s Hospital and was given a total of 22 vials of anti-venom.

Al Cruz said if the venom unit was not called Potts would not be alive.

“The amount of time it took to get the anti-venom on board this child probably survived, one thing and the key one is, he remained
calm,” Cruz said. “Number two, it went through his clothing; his jeans. And, third, he received one of the fangs.”

Potts said he knows what could have happened, and he’s lucky to be alive.

His mother said the severity of the situation didn’t sink in until her son was better.

“I think I sat in the car for 45 minutes crying my eyes out,” she said. “It wasn’t just the stress and the worry. When it hit me at that point, it was also knowing that he had made it.”

Potts is optimistic about the future and said he hopes to begin writing about his experience on his new Web site, www.mysnakebite.com.

The Miami-Dade Venom Unit responds to four diamondback rattle snake bites per year, the unit reported.

Since the unit’s inception 12-years-ago there has been one death from the bite of a diamondback rattle snake.

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