Hill Country girl bitten by rattlesnake suffers setback as more antivenom is used

Emily Rose Oehler - rattlesnake bites girl_619751

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The family of a 5-year-old girl who was bitten by a rattlesnake over the weekend says they have lost count of how many doses of antivenom she’s received.

Emily Rose Oehler was playing by the picnic area at Longhorn Cavern State Park in Burnet County on Saturday when a western diamondback rattlesnake bit her on the ankle. The child was taken by STAR Flight helicopter to Dell Children’s Medical Center where she received 16 doses of antivenom in 24 hours.

On Sunday, when KXAN spoke to Emily Rose’s mother, Alicia Oehler, she said while her daughter was doing better, she was still in a lot of pain. On Wednesday, the family said the child suffered a setback and doctors are trying to take care of blistering around the bite site. They are also worried about the tissue darkening. The family said Emily has now received more than 30 doses of antivenom. A hospital spokesperson says the child is listed in good condition as of Wednesday afternoon.

The Granite Shoals family says they don’t have insurance and each vial of antivenom costs approximately $2,500. At the Oehler’s current rate, their bill is more than $75,000 just for antivenom. One professor at Texas A&M University’s College of Veterinary Medicine says it is not uncommon for medical bills to total $50,000 or more after a bite. The family has set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for Emily Rose’s medical expenses.

Rattlesnake at Longhorn Cavern in the same area where the 5-year-old girl was bit. (Courtesy: Texas Parks and Wildlife)

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