Oklahoma 8-year-old on the mend after being bitten by pygmy rattlesnake at church camp

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – “It’s my very first-time getting bit by a snake,” said 8-year-old Elijah Williams. 

It’s hopefully his last, after frightening moments at his church camp in Sparks. 

Elijah was headed back to his cabin with friends when his coach spotted the snake. 

“My coach said ‘stop’ because we didn’t see it,” said Elijah. 

Brave, little Elijah tried to keep the dangerous reptile away. 

“I got too close, and it bit me,” he said. “It felt like when someone, like was poking a needle in there.”

The camp nurse immediately called his parents, hoping they could help identify the snake. 

After analyzing a photo, Elijah’s mother, Malia, realized it was a venomous pygmy rattle snake. 

“Okay this is serious we need to go!” said Malia. 

Elijah was rushed to the ER in Shawnee. 

“The pain was… it hurt a lot,” he said. 

Malia says doctors injected him with six vials of antivenom. 

“Obviously, that initial anxiety and fear crept up in us, but we immediately started calling all of our prayer warriors,” said Malia. 

After spending three days in the hospital, and having a scare with some minor chest pain, Elijah is now safe at home. 

“We know that God had his hand on him the entire time, we know it could’ve been much worse and we’re just thankful,” she said. 

Now the Williamses have a message for others who may end up in a similar situation. 

“If you don’t recognize it then don’t mess with it,” said Elijah. 

“This is just one example how just something that you might think you know is just going to go wrong,” said Malia. 

The family kept the snake and is hoping to find a taxidermist who will preserve it for Elijah.

If you are bitten by a snake call 911, or poison control at 800-222-1222.

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