Girl keeps rattlesnake skin as reminder after bites lead to hospital stay

Cecilia Gonzalez (Credit: Channel 2 Action News)
Caption
Cecilia Gonzalez (Credit: Channel 2 Action News)

A 12-year-old Dawson County girl spent three days in a hospital and will need physical therapy to continue recovering from being bitten by a rattlesnake twice, her family said.

But she’s keeping its skin as a reminder, Channel 2 Action News reported.

Cecilia Gonzalez of Dawsonville was playing with a friend Saturday near Kelly Bridge Road when she slipped down an embankment near a creek, she told Channel 2.

“I didn't see the snake before it bit me and it didn't rattle or anything,” Gonzalez said.

A timber rattlesnake came out from a hole in a tree and bit the girl’s left foot twice before she had a chance to react.

Caption
Cecilia Gonzalez and her friend, Peyton Gillian. (Credit: Channel 2 Action News)

Cecilia Gonzalez and her friend, Peyton Gillian. (Credit: Channel 2 Action News)
Caption
Cecilia Gonzalez and her friend, Peyton Gillian. (Credit: Channel 2 Action News)

Friend Peyton Gillian ran for her parents and called 911.

“It was scary and really upsetting.” Gillian said.

Gonzalez said she did her best to stay calm, but couldn’t. Gillian’s family later shot the snake in the head, according to Channel 2.

Within the hour, Gonzalez was flown to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite and given antivenom, Channel 2 reported.

“I started to swell and it went up my leg and everything started swelling because I had an allergic reaction to the venom,” Gonzalez said.

Caption
A timber rattlesnake was shot and killed after it bit a 12-year-old twice in the foot. (Credit: Channel 2 Action News)

A timber rattlesnake was shot and killed after it bit a 12-year-old twice in the foot. (Credit: Channel 2 Action News)
Caption
A timber rattlesnake was shot and killed after it bit a 12-year-old twice in the foot. (Credit: Channel 2 Action News)

Despite needing more physical therapy, Gonzalez told the news station she hopes to be back playing softball next month.

The snakeskin on her wall will act as a reminder to watch out and avoid open-toe sandles, Gonzalez said.

In other news:

Credit: AJC

Caption
Severe Weather Team 2 Chief Meteorologist Glenn Burns went to the Tellus Science Museum and spoke with an astronomer about the total solar eclipse.

Credit: AJC