Expecting mother survives venomous snake bite at popular swimming spot

A pregnant woman's foot was bitten by a snake. (KXAN Photo)

KINGSLAND, Texas (KXAN) — After being bit by a water moccasin in a popular swimming spot, an expecting mother is sending a warning to those soaking up the final days of summer to be extra careful.

Anyone growing up in Kingsland can probably draw a map of the walking trails winding around The Slab without much thought.

“We’ve walked it hundreds and hundreds of times,” said expecting mother Kamri Thompson.

The Slab is where Thompson has spent the majority of her summer. However, the place that has brought her so much peace over the years gave her a jolting dose of reality last Sunday.

“I was watching where I was walking but I just thought it was a stick. It just didn’t catch my eye at all. It kind of felt like a needle or something,” said Thompson.

Thompson says she looked down to see a Water Moccasin with one fang stuck in her sandal the other in the top of her foot. “I knew it wasn’t good, but I didn’t know what was going to happen or anything,” she said.

She was quickly rushed to the hospital, her dad not far behind.

“At first it was like it was going to be OK, the worst case scenario is they would have to give her anti-venom,” said Kamri’s father Ben Thompson. “I’ve literally spent 20-plus summers just running around out there as a kid and now grown up. But, it never ever crossed my mind. We know they are out there, but they typically stay away.”

Unfortunately doctors broke the news to the family that anti-venom was not an option.

“In pregnancy there are certain medications that are not tolerated well. They might have penetration through the placenta to get to the baby and that would require that we don’t use them,” said OBGYN Hospitalist Dr. Sheila Parech. “We have to go with alternate methods. Sometimes it’s different medication, in this case there is no other medications that’s considered safe so we have to go with other treatments.”

The family was left with a decision: deliver the baby three months early or treat the symptoms and hope the venom doesn’t spread.

“We just prayed a lot, that’s all we could do, just wait it out,” said Kamri.

“I prayed and I said, ‘Lord just take this and suck the venom right out and I’ll tell everyone you did it.’ I’m a firm believer that that’s what happened,” said Ben.

Within hours, Kamri says prayers and treatment worked, the venom stopped spreading. Now, she’s back home and looking forward to meeting her healthy baby boy.

The Texas Department of State Health Services says about 7,000 people are bitten by rattlesnakes across the country each year. Only 0.2 percent of those people die from the bites which is about one out of every 500. In Texas, one or two people die every year — experts say that’s usually because of delayed treatment.

For anyone who gets bitten, there are several steps to take. Doctors say do not try and treat it yourself, call 911 immediately so they can send you to the hospital that has anti-venom. Also, if possible, take a picture of the snake so doctors can identify it.