El Cajon teen recovers from six rattlesnake bites

Vera Oliphant stepped into snake nest in Jamul

EL CAJON, Calif. - An El Cajon teenager who was bitten by six rattlesnakes in Jamul was recovering Friday, a week after the freak accident.

Vera Oliphant, who talked with 10News about how she got bitten, now uses a walker to hobble around, her foot still hurting from the cluster of rattlesnake bites. 

Oliphant said she was visiting her uncle and climbed a hill trying to find cell phone reception.

“I felt the tip of my foot roll off something and I looked down and six rattlesnakes were latched onto my foot," said Oliphant .

It was a mother and five babies. The venom quickly coursed through her bloodstream.

“I saw little black dots on my eyes," said Oliphant. "I had like double and blurred vision.”

The pain was overwhelming.

“The pain:  on a scale of one to ten it was like a 45," she said. "It felt like it was on fire and like I had a bunch of tiny needles going into me."

Vera, in her clouded mind, feared the worst.          

“I was like, Oh my God…I'm gonna die," she said. "This is the end.”          

Her uncle rushed her to the hospital, where she collapsed.

“It took 24 vials of anti-venom to neutralize all the poison that went in me," she said.

A week after the incident, the scars were still visible.

“One here; a big one here; three here and one right there," she said as she showed her wounds. “My foot looked like a California burrito."

She was told to expect numbness for a while, but that she should recover fully and return to her 11th grade classes at Chaparral High School next week.

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