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Snake bite victim saved by neighbour's first aid skills

SNAKE BITE: Kalkie residents David and Annette Lawson have pulled through a harrowing ordeal after David was bitten by a brown snake and rushed to hospital. Photo: Max Fleet / NewsMail
SNAKE BITE: Kalkie residents David and Annette Lawson have pulled through a harrowing ordeal after David was bitten by a brown snake and rushed to hospital. Photo: Max Fleet / NewsMail Max Fleet

AS A founding member of a bush walking club and former farmer, the last place a Kalkie man expected to be bitten by a brown snake was in his own suburban backyard.

David Lawson is lucky to be alive after a brown snake latched onto his big toe on Thursday as he opened the door to his backyard shed, rendering him delirious within seconds.

Luckily his father was visiting at the time and despite suffering dementia, managed to track down neighbours who applied first aid and called an ambulance.

Mr Lawson has only vague memories of the incident, but said he didn't do anything right.

"It latched on and I tried to shake it off, which is wrong," he said.

"You're supposed to stop dead, but I went to the back veranda and I was thrashing about - I was out to it."

Rushing to the immediate neighbour, but finding no one home, his father continued across the road to a house with two cars in the driveway.

"The neighbours only had a triangle bandage, not a constrictive bandage," he said.

"It was the wrong bandage, but it did enough."

Mr Lawson said he'd seen plenty of snakes in his time and it was ironic that he was bitten in a suburban area.

"How many times have I opened the shed door? It was as simple as that," he said.

"I would have thought if anything it would have been a red back that I got touched up with.

"God didn't want me at the pearly gates yet."

Mr Lawson's wife, Annett, e said although her husband really had no idea who she was when she first arrived at the hospital, she knows things could have been much worse.

"I'm grateful I didn't come home and find him dead," she said, adding that the incident highlighted how important it was to learn first aid skills.

"It's really lucky the neighbours knew what to do," she said.

"They were discussing CPR and who would do what if he went into cardiac arrest.

"You never know when you can help."

Bundaberg snake catcher Adam Zink said the unusual weather had seen and increase in snake numbers, in particular green tree, carpet and brown snakes.

"The weather's been all over the place, so it's been weirder than usual so far this season," he said.

"It's been hot, so the snakes have been out, but then it's cooled down, so they've been looking for a warm place to shelter and they don't realise we don't want them in our houses."

Topics:  brown snake, kalkie



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