Iowa Park toddler recovers from rattlesnake bite

IOWA PARK - Parents of a two-year-old girl in the Iowa Park area are breathing at least a little easier after a rattlesnake quickly had them fearing the worst.

 Local exterminators say it's very common for people to see snakes this time of year. Trent and Cadi Sharp surely did see one, after their daughter Brenli was bitten off FM 368, south of Iowa Park.

Thursday night, happiness was replaced by tears, and a very real fear parents hope to never experience.

Brenli's mom, Cadi Sharp said, "So me and her were walking and we came through the walkway and we both stepped  up here and she was holding my hand and then I just went to reach for the screen door and I opened it." 

She said the next few minutes happened very quickly. "I heard the rattle so I grabbed her, the hand I had," Sharp said, "and threw her back and then I took this hand and slammed that shut." 

It was a four-foot rattlesnake on their front porch that had already bitten Brenli on both feet. 

Brenli's father, Trent Sharp told us, "I walked up to the front porch. It was actually sitting there and half of his body was inside the screen door with the front door and then his tail and his rattle were outside the door." 

Sharp got rid of the snake while Cadi was at United Regional with Brenli.

Trauma Medical Director, Brett May added, "We see probably 10 to 15 snake bites a year.  It's pretty common in North Texas for rattlesnake bites."

He told us his team is always there to assist, "Including ED Physicians, Trauma Surgeons and Intensive Care Medicine doctors that respond to the patient." 

Due to the possibility of surgery and no pediatric surgeons in town, Brenli was taken to Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth.

"They were really good to us there at Cook's," Brenli's father said, "It's just a lot to take in. Your daughter's sitting there in bed, she can't move and she was stuck I don't know how many times because they had to check her blood."

4 days and 18 vials later, though, Brenli is back with her best friend Pete and they're all hoping the worst is behind her. 

She still has more lab work to do, but doctors say if all goes well, she should be back to her old self very soon. 

To help the family with their medical expenses, you can visit their GoFundMe page and purchase t-shirts.

If you are bitten by a rattlesnake and taken to a rural Texoma hospital, you'll have vials of anti-venom, thanks to a special project honoring the life of a young Texoma girl.

In 2010, two-year-old Peyton Hood died from a rattlesnake bite she got on her ankle near Possum Kingdom Lake 

Peyton had to be transported to a hospital in the Metroplex to receive treatment. After her death, Peyton's family created Peyton's Project, raising money to supply at least 6 vials of antivenom to all rural hospitals.

The Peyton Project is also looking for donations so if you'd like to help with rattlesnake research just visit Peyton's Project.  


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