Coming across a brown snake in the middle of winter is not what many Aussies would anticipate, yet an unexpected meeting with one of the snakes resulted in a close brush with death for one four-year-old girl, who was saved only by her quick thinking parents, a dedicated team of medical professionals and volunteers and the incredible use of technology.
Emilia Barnard was holidaying with her parents at Coral Bay in Western Australia, more than 1,000 kilometres north of Perth, when she was bitten by a western brown snake while walking to the beach.
Speaking with The Daily Telegraph, parents David and Kari explained they waited three-and-a-half hours for an emergency medical team to reach the remote location to treat their child.
Connecting online with the doctor, who watched the events proceed over a television screen, they worked together to keep the little girl alive.
After a harrowing few hours, in which Emilia stopped breathing for two minutes, David said they couldn’t have been more happy to see the Royal Flying Doctor team walk through the door with the life saving anti-venom.
“We’ve been extremely fortunate that Emilia is here with us and we know that. It was a very close call,” the grateful father said.
Little Emilia’s experience isn’t, unfortunately, unusual. Half of the people bitten by snakes in Australia are bitten while out for a walk. Others are taken victim while gardening, including one heroic grandfather who earlier this year bravely took the bite while saving his young granddaughter.
Raking leaves in his yard with the toddler, Chris Harrison spotted the snake lurking around and quickly calling for his wife to pick up their granddaughter before he himself was bitten on the foot.
Thankfully after a terrifying ordeal that included shaking and vomiting and being rushed to hospital, the grandfather made a full recovery.