Teen lucky to have survived Copperhead bite

A teenager from North Stonington, Conn. is still recovering after she was bitten by a poisonous snake on June 2.

Shannon Young said the Copperhead snake bit her near Lantern Hill not far from her house.

"It happened toward the end (of our hike). We were about 200 feet from the car and I kind of just felt something bite my foot, and I looked down and I saw the snake. I knew I should get it checked, but I wasn't thinking anything too bad," said Young, at Norwich Free Academy.

Young said the pain felt like a sharply spiked hammer slamming down on her foot, but added that later the real pain set in.

"At first it was a lot of pain, and then itching, and more pain. I was told that's from the venom moving through," the 17-year-old said.

Young said her run in with the snake had her thinking the worst.

"My biggest fear was losing my foot. I really thought that could happen," she said. "I was just worried because of how quick the swelling was happening, and how blue my foot was getting; because I knew blue was definitely not the best color (to be seeing)."

Young said she was hiking with her brother and aunt, and that her mom was at work at the time.

"Well, I initially got the phone call that she had been bitten by a snake, and right away I said, 'get her to the ER," said Young's mother Dawn Adams.

The teen was initially transported to Westerly Hospital, but had to be transferred to Hasbro Children's Hospital for treatment.

Adams said it wasn't until she found out Shannon needed to go to Providence that she became very nervous.

"I tried not to think about what the possible outcome could be, I was just grateful that she was in good hands," she said.

The closest hospital that had the anti-venom was Hasbro, and they assessed her case there. Young was in the intensive care unit for a day and a half and was given 14 vials of anti-venom.

It turns out the anti-venom for a Copperhead snake is very expensive.

"The best idea we were able to get from the Internet is that the anti-venom costs between $800 to $6,000 per vial," Adams said.

Thankfully, Adams said the antidote is covered by insurance.

Young said she has learned one lesson. She said if she could do it all over again, she definitely would made a different choice of footwear that day, and asks that you learn from her while hiking in the woods this summer.

"I was wearing flats because I thought we were just going on a normal walk. I would have worn sneakers, at least if not boots. I should have because those (loafers) aren't appropriate for those types of walks. That's definitely not something I ever want to go through again," she said.

Although Young is still walking with crutches, she is back to school, and expected to make a full recovery.