The Corpus Christi man's wife, Jennifer Sutcliffe, says that they were doing some yard work over Memorial Day weekend when the man uncovered a 4-foot-long rattler.
However, when he picked up the remains to dispose of them, the head of the snake bit him, provoking immediate seizures. "He had to rip it off". Yes, it happened. Not only that, he also needed 26 doses of anti-venom to avert the damages caused by the snake's poison.
The man was transported via helicopter to a hospital, where doctors said there was a chance he wouldn't make it. "A normal person who is going to get bit is going to get two to four doses of antivenom".
An anti-venom doctor told Gizmodo that snake's heads can continue to function hours after being cut off.
Even after being severed, rattlesnakes can still bite.
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Because the head was severed from the body, the reptile is believed to have released an extremely large amount of deadly venom into her husband's hand.
However, he is still experiencing weak kidney function more than a week after the incident.
"There is about 6,000 to 8,000 snakes bites per year in the country and 10 or 12 people die", said Halpert.
He was eventually airlifted to Christus Spohn Shoreline Hospital, she said.
It should go without saying, he said, but no one should be trying to pick up a rattlesnake, dead or alive. And naturally, they become aggressive in the throes of death, when they perceive the situation as a last-ditch opportunity to survive.
In fact, there have been previous [to 2014] reports, including in the USA, of people being bitten by the severed heads of snakes.