Boy bitten by rattlesnake released from hospital

Posted at 7:34 PM, Apr 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-23 15:35:04-04

A toddler bitten by a rattlesnake more than a week ago was released from the hospital Friday.

On April 12, 3-year-old Braden Roark was bitten in the knee by a mature rattlesnake outside of his family's Boulevard home.

Medics airlifted the youngster to Rady Children's Hospital, where he spent the next 11 days in the pediatric intensive care unit.

Grandmother Mel Roark told reporters, "Last night, he was in ICU; today, he's going home and that's a beautiful thing."

Roark said her grandson's infection spread quickly.

"He had swelling around the site on his knee. By day two, it went from his ankle to his hip; by the third and fourth day, it traveled across his abdomen and down his leg then up his chest," she said.

The snake had very strong venom so the medical staff at Rady Children’s Hospital had to continue administering doses of anti-venom.

"Gave him between 34 and 37 vials, and the average is 9 to 12 of anti-venom and there were lots of complications, platelet count, oxygen levels, his lung collapsed," Roark said.

"He's limping but on his feet and he wasn't two days ago so we see the probability for full recovery," Roark said of Braden.

The Roark family has established a fund to help cover expenses incurred from Braden's hospital stay. For more information on how you can help, visit

According to County Animal Services, there were 320 rattlesnake-related calls made from Jan. 1, 2015, to April 22, 2015.

During the same period in 2016, there have been 292 calls regarding rattlesnakes, with 127 calls made in April.

Animal Services said the ZIP codes with the highest number of calls are: 92129 (23 calls), 92130 (19), 92131 (19), 92127 (14), 92120 (13).