Many worked to save boy’s life

Published 12:19 am Saturday, May 7, 2011

So many people have asked about Channing, the child who was bitten by the timber rattlesnake, until I thought I would tell the “rest of the story.”

First, I would like to thank Dr. Gabrielle Baldwin for her promptness in answering my call of distress, her rapid assessment of the situation, and her swiftness in arranging for the airflight to Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital. We owe so very much to her. The hospital personnel in Pensacola said it was the worst case of snakebite they had ever seen. They contacted the Alabama Wildlife Commission, poison control, a toxicologist in Jacksonville, and went online to research venomous snakebites. Dr. Northup, who performed the fasciotomy, said this was a procedure usually used to save a limb, but in this case it was to save a life. We were told the usual protocol for snakebites is administring about 14 vials of an antivenom to children and from 16 to18 vials to adults. Channing was given 46 vials before his blood tests became even close to normal.

Channing Kelley, who was bitten by a timber rattlesnake, reads about himself the day after the near-fatal event.

The hospital told us they had every vial in that area heading that way by taxi. I see God’s hand in so much of this; releasing Dr. Baldwin to come so quickly, for clearing weather conditions for the airflight when there were storms in the area, for the skill of the good doctors in Pensacola and for Channing’s recovery.

Channing has returned to school but he has to wear a brace for “drop foot” and is undergoing tests to determine nerve damage. So often we want to blame God for the bad things that happen, but fail to give Him credit for the good that comes from them. But God is good. Channing not only is alive, but has both legs and feet. I also want to thank all our family and friends for their abundant prayers. I know this is what has brought him this far.

Bonita Kelley