Rockies pitcher's son bit by rattlesnake; recovering in the hospital

Spring training is wrapping up, and with that comes the warmer weather. And the warmer weather means more snakes are out and about.

Colorado Rockies pitcher John Axford turns 32 Wednesday, and he's celebrating his birthday in an usual place, a pediatric hospital room.

Last week Axford's 2-year-old son was badly bitten by a rattlesnake. He's been recovering in the hospital ever since.

Just one week ago Jameson stepped on a rattlesnake in Scottsdale and was bitten twice in the foot. Daniel Marchand with the Phoenix Herpetological Society said the "venom" from the rattlesnake bite hits children even harder than grown adults.

"They're smaller people, smaller individuals, so the venom can travel quickly through the body and do a lot of damage," said Daniel Marchand.

When a rattlesnake bites your hand, or foot, that venom literally starts to eat away at the tissue in your body. Axford told the Denver Post that his son was treated with 6 vials of anti-venin. When Jameson's condition worsened, dead tissue had to be scrubbed from his foot; an incredibly painful procedure, after an already painful bite.

"We've had women that were bitten by snakes and they said it was worse than childbirth," said Marchand.

Axford worked out with the Rockies Wednesday morning, but is spending as much time as possible with his healing son. He told the Denver Post: "He slept most of the night, which was great. He's getting a lot better, so we are so thankful for that."

Axford will return to pitch Saturday in the Cactus League finale against the Mariners. The General Manager for the Rockies said Axford is still on track to depart with the club for the Season Opener.
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