The screaming started in the backyard. Paulo Henrique Machado was at his mother’s house with his 1-year-old son when he heard the boy yell out. But these weren’t the normal cries of an infant. The boy was in agony.
Machado and a neighbor ran over to the boy, who they only identified as Benjamin. That’s when the men noticed the two puncture wounds snake bites leave behind. The neighbor spotted a snake nearby and quickly killed it. He threw the snake’s carcass in a pot and gave it to the family. This small act may have saved the boy’s life, The Sun reported.
Machado threw his son in the family’s car along with the dead snake and gunned it to the hospital. All the while, he worked out the cold calculus in his mind. Can I make it to the hospital in time? And if I can, will the doctors be able to save my Benjamin?
“I stepped on the accelerator with a feeling of dread because I didn’t know how much time I still had left,” the Brazilian told The Sun.
Doctors Praise Benjamin’s Dad
The first thing doctors at Hospital Santo Antonio needed to do when treating a snake bite is to identify the snake. They need to know the type of venom so they know how what to use to treat it. Thankfully, Machado brought that pot inside the hospital. Doctors snapped a photo of the body and sent it to a specialist who said the snake was a young jararaca. This is a highly venomous pit viper native to Brazil and other parts of South America. These snakes have killed scores of people over the years. That’s partly because of its appearance.
The jararaca looking strikingly similar to another type of snake. But this snake is not poisonous. People often mix up the two.
“The fact the child cannot speak or describe the animal could have caused a delay in the diagnosis, therefore it is important to take photos or, when possible, safely bring the animal in to assist with the evaluation,” he said.
Dr. Ronchi said the dad and neighbor’s quick thinking gave doctors the best chance to save Benjamin’s life.
Machado said he’s just happy that he made it to the hospital in time and doctors were able to save the infant.
“The feeling is now one of relief,” he said. “We were very scared before, but now we are relieved, despite the stress.”
Doctors treated and released Benjamin from the hospital earlier this week. He’s now recuperating at his home in Blumenau, Brazil, with a very thankful dad.