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Northern NSW : Rescue Winter 2016
RescueClub The odd snake out As the owner of six pythons Chantel Galway is no stranger to snakes. But it was the wild variety taking interest in the family’s pet guinea pig and Mrs Galway’s two-year-old daughter Hayley that caused some damage. On 6 May Hayley had taken her pet guinea pig into the front yard of their Tenterfield home to play. Having been raised with snakes, Hayley was unafraid of the red-bellied black and attempted to pat it. Hayley’s grandmother reacted in time to pin the snake’s head while Chantel grabbed its tail, but she hadn’t moved her grip far enough up the snake’s body before it was able to swing around and repeatedly bite her. ‘I had six separate fang marks in my hand,’ Chantel told Tenterfield Star reporter Donna Ward. ‘ I just had to hold the 1.6 metre snake away from Hayley.’ Paramedics arrived to insert a cannula for pain relief and advised her to hold her hand below her heart to minimise the spread of venom. She was taken to Tenterfield Hospital where she received a multitude of pain killers as well as adrenaline and antivenin, before being flown by the Rescue Helicopter to Tamworth. Chantel was violently ill and vomited for 12 hours after the attack and experienced chest pains and breathing difficulties for the first two days. Still, none of this has dinted her love for snakes although she concedes it’s hard to teach a toddler which ones are safe to touch. Ms Galway said this was the fourth red-bellied black snake removed from her yard this season. The Westpac Rescue Helicopter prepares to transport snakebite victim Chantel Galway from Tenterfield to Tamworth Hospital Snakebite victim Chantel Galway’s swollen right hand after six bites from a red-bellied black snake. Photo courtesy of the Tenterfield Star. Thanks to Tenterfield Star and reporter Donna Ward 22 Rescue Magazine WINTER 2016
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Rescue Spring 2016