Clovis teen bitten by rattlesnake on hike hospitalized for two weeks

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Like most high school seniors, Alexa Patton and friends wanted their ditch day to be filled with adventure.

Little did they know what would happen on their hike would forever change them.

"Blessed to be home and still healthy I'm lucky to have my leg, I'm just lucky to be here," Patton said.

The teens were hiking Sky Harbor when they went off trail to take a picture. As Patton stepped off a rock she climbed, she was bitten by a rattlesnake.

"It felt like a pinch, to be honest. I thought it must've been a rock that fell on my foot or a bee sting," she said.

Patton didn't realize the severity of her injury til she noticed blood seeping from her tennis shoes.

RELATED: It's the season for rattlesnakes: Here's what to do if you're bitten

As they hiked to get help Patton's friend Alexz Wheaton carried her.

"Our main thing was getting her to the hospital as fast as we could, and just adrenaline was pumping," Wheaton said.

Once Alexa tried to walk symptoms grew worse, "Numbness in my hands my arms my face started to swell up, and I felt like it was going to pop."

After her breathing became impaired, the group was able to flag down a car. The driver, an off duty nurse, helped calm Patton until an ambulance could arrive.

She was rushed to Valley Children's where she was treated for two weeks.

"Throughout the whole process, I got 22 vials of anti-venom," Patton said.

California Poison Control Medical Director Dr. Vohra, says April tends to be the busiest month for rattlesnake bites.

"This is the time of year that Poison Control hears about snakes coming out of hibernation. and biting people when they're hiking usually in the foothill areas," he said.

To make sure you don't fall victim to a snake bite, Dr. Vhora says, "Make a plan before you go out hiking and make sure you know worst case scenario what you're going to do. how am I going to get myself off the trail."

He adds hikers should wear protective gear like boots, to always have a phone with you and to let others know if you're walking alone.
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