Park adder attack leaves woman in permanent pain

Reporter:

Lois Hough

FOR mum-of-three Amanda Corkhill the day was a chance to enjoy some late summer sun with her family.

But now the 36-year-old believes she is lucky to be alive after being bitten by a venomous snake.

Amanda had enjoyed a picnic with her partner and children at Loggerheads Country Park when she stopped to look at the reptile.

She was bitten on the finger when she moved in to take a photograph.

Amanda was rushed to hospital when she collapsed an hour later and spent five days under the watchful eye of doctors.

She told the Leader: “We’d had a fantastic day at the park and were walking back to the car to make our way home.

“We noticed a crowd of people pointing and taking pictures of something on the ground so we went to investigate and saw that it was a snake.

“I crouched down to take a picture on my mobile phone and suddenly it launched at me.

“I was shocked. I could see the puncture marks where it got me. It stung a little bit and began to swell so I thought it would be best to check it out at the hospital.”

But as Amanda was being checked by a nurse at a local community hospital, she collapsed and went into anaphylactic shock.

She was taken to the Countess of Chester Hospital where she spent five days seriously ill.

“I was in and out of consciousness,” she said. “My hand ballooned and my entire right arm was also swollen. My finger is still completely black.

“My partner Chris gave doctors a picture of the snake which they identified as a European Adder.

“They consulted with hospitals in Liverpool and Cardiff to try to find me an anti-venom.

“A doctor went by police escort to the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine to fetch me this anti-venom

“I’m OK now but I’ve still got a blood clot in my arm and it’s completely numb. It feels like I have a metal rod in my vein.

“I’m lucky to be alive.”

Active Amanda, who lives in Noctorum, Birkenhead, can no longer compete in a martial arts competition in a couple of weeks time.

But she is more concerned that the reptile had a large slit on its underbelly.

“Doctors said the slit could mean two things,” she said. “Either it had recently shed a skin or it had just given birth, which means there are more of those dangerous snakes in the park.

“In a way I’m glad it bit me because I am a healthy lady.

“If it was a child or a pregnant lady, they would not have been so lucky.”

Gary Dickinson, who runs the North Wales Raptor and Reptile Sanctuary, studied our pictures of the snake and believes it was likely to be injured.

He said: “Adders are the most beautiful little creatures and generally they keep out of your way.

“That’s what makes me think this one was hurt. They should have taken it to the vets rather than stand around and take pictures of it.

“The most dangerous animals are injured animals.”

Amanda is calling for warning signs at the beauty spot to advise walkers of the risk of snakes.

David Shiel, countryside officer with the Clwydian Range, said: “It is likely given the number of people surrounding it this adder felt threatened and struck as a last resort in self defence.

“It is not advisable to approach or to attempt to pick up any wild animal particularly if it is shows signs of distress.

“It is extremely unusual for people to come across an adder at Loggerheads.

“For this reason it is not considered necessary to place warning signs relating to adders.”

See full story in the Leader

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