A teenager from Ellesmere Port was flown to hospital after being bitten by a snake and needed an “unheard of” second dose of anti-venom, says her mother.
Izzi Larkins, 13, became the fourth child in three months to be bitten by a snake in North Wales while she was on holiday in Aberdaron last week.
She was rushed to Ysbyty Gwynedd in Bangor by air ambulance after an adder bit her finger on Wednesday.
Her parents Ros and Dave Larkins, from Ellesmere Port, were at The Ship restaurant when their daughter returned from a walk on the beach.
Ros said: “She walked in with her arm in the air and said: ‘Mum, can you google what to do when you get bitten by a snake?’
“I thought she was joking, but she showed me her middle finger on her right hand and it was already beginning to swell up.
“She was so calm about the whole thing that I didn’t think there was a need to panic, but we called 999 to be safe as we couldn’t get through to the out of hours number.
“When the ambulance arrived, the paramedics checked Izzi over and said she needed an air ambulance immediately.”
Izzi was flown to Ysbyty Gwynedd and admitted to Dewi Ward, where she was hooked up to a heart and blood pressure monitor and given an ECG.
She also had to have an x-ray to see if there were any tooth fragments left in her finger.
The teenager was given a dose of anti-venom, but her hand and arm continued to swell, and doctors thought she would need surgery to relieve the pressure on her joints.
Ros said: “We thought she would only be in for one night, but that quickly changed when the doctors started discussing surgery.
“She was in a lot of pain during the first night and had to keep her arm elevated. It was suspended above her head all night.
“By this point, her hand was massive. It was like when you blow in to a rubber glove.
“They decided against surgery but gave her a second dose of anti-venom.
“The doctors told us it was unheard of to need two doses of the anti-venom. Apparently, it’s never happened before.
“The swelling went all the way up her shoulder. It was very angry looking.”
After four nights in hospital, the swelling began to subside and Izzi was allowed home, but was told she would need urgent physiotherapy for her wrist, hand and elbow.
Ros praised the paramedics and hospital staff who “kept Izzi going” during the ordeal.
“They were all fantastic, really upbeat and they were lovely with us,” she said.
“Izzi wants to give a special mention to her nurse Rachel, who really helped her during the first night when she was in a lot of pain.
“Izzi was just so brave. Even when she was in immense pain, she just got on with it.”
This is the third known case of an adder bite on the Llyn Peninsula this summer.
Macey Roberts, 13, was bitten while walking near Pwllheli beach in June, and has been left with a piece of the snake’s fang in his foot.
Eight-year-old Matthew Beetham was also bitten on the foot by an adder near Pwllheli beach last month.