Rattlesnake strikes SHS student

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 12, 2014

An incoming freshman at Straughn High School is lucky to be alive after being bitten Tuesday by what relatives called a “granddaddy” rattlesnake.

Earl Beck said his 15-year-old grandson Peyton Meeks was picking up limbs before cutting grass at his home on Straughn School Road, when he came across the massive snake.

“It had 13 rattlers and a button,” Beck said. “It was 4-to-5 feet long.”

Despite the snake’s enormity, Beck said it wasn’t until Meeks and a neighbor killed the rattler that his grandson realized he had been bitten.

“He got a gun and shot it,” Beck said. “Then, he called a neighbor who came over and shot it a couple more times. Peyton really wasn’t aware he had been bitten until a little bit later.”

Beck said Meeks realized something was wrong when his left foot began to sting and swell.

“The snake bit him on the top of his foot, but he only had one fang mark,” Beck said. “He looked and he had some blood coming out of the fang mark. They went to the ER (at Andalusia Regional Hospital) and they started treating him immediately.”

Beck said, as of Wednesday afternoon, Meeks was still dealing with some pain and swelling in his foot, but was stable after receiving anti-venom Tuesday night.

“He spent the night in ICU and was moved this morning and the swelling is going down a little bit,” Beck said Wednesday. “When he can walk on it, they say he will be able to be home.”

Meeks’ mother, Rene, said Wednesday her son was likely to spend one more night in ARH, before being released this morning.

Beck said the entire situation goes to show how quickly a simple afternoon at home can become a life-threatening scenario.

“It was scary, but not nearly as bad as it could have been,” he said.