4-year-old boy bitten by rattlesnake in Scottsdale

A 4-year-old boy was bitten by a rattlesnake after he accidentally stepped on it in the yard of his home in North Scottsdale.

The boy only had socks on at the time, and after two weeks of hospital stays and visits, and receiving 16 vials of anti-venin the 4-year-old boy is finally back at home.

He lives with his family at the base of Troon Mountain, so they've seen snakes in the area before. 

The 4-year-old says he didn't see the snake before he stepped on it. He's been in and out of the hospital for the past two years, unable to walk for one week.

Monday was his first day back at pre-school.

"I stepped on the snake, and it bit me," said Lucien Reif.

Lucief Reif is back on his feet; the 4-year-old has been out of the intensive care unit after he was bit on the foot by a Rattlesnake on Valentine's Day. 

"He walked right here, and this is right where the snake was," said Emily Reif. 

Little Lu was wearing only socks when he accidentally stepped on the snake in the gated area of their front yard; her parents just left for dinner.

"Got the phone call from the babysitter that it was Lucien, it was a snake bite, she called 911 and she called poison control she had everything under control and thank goodness time is of the essence," she said.

"The whole way home I was hoping and praying it was going to be a king snake or a nonvenemous type of snake," said Zack Reif.

The fire department found the snake and verified it was a rattler, they rushed Lu to the ER, his foot was swollen and black before he got there.

"They made 3 marks along his foot and would measure it in centimeters to determine how quickly it was swelling up... they mentioned skin graphs surgery," he said.

"Did they know how much venom was in his foot? They had no idea. The doctor indicated you just have you just have to wait and see based on the blood results and the swelling; that's how he determines how to medicate," said Zack.

The 16 doses of antivenin cost thousands of dollars; the Reif's were told their insurance covers it.

"We have Lucien; that's all that matters," said Emily.

Venom thins the blood; a toxicologist said the venom often stays in your system longer than the antivenin. Lu goes back to the doctor this week to check his blood, hopefully for the last time.

"Luckily it doesn't appear to be any tissue damage in his foot; he's a tough cookie," said Zack.

The Arizona Poison and Drug Center has a list of do's and don't's for rattlesnake bites. They say don't use ice to treat a bite, and don't wait to see if you get symptoms. 

Experts also caution you not to try and catch the snake yourself. If you are bit, you should relax, move as little as possible, and remove any tight clothing or shoes around the bite mark.

If you're bit by a rattlesnake, they say to seek medical attention.
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