Coolidge man plays with rattlesnake, gets bit on his face

A day of fun quickly turned into a nightmare when one Coolidge man was bit by a rattlesnake on his face.

Victor Pratt was enjoying the day with his kids celebrating a birthday when he came across a rattlesnake. He suddenly decided to grab it and play with it like he used to do back in the day.

"When the kids saw it, I grabbed it. I showed them how to catch it and I was playing with it like little kids do. This is how you play with a snake. I wasn't thinking. I was showing off like I always do and this time it got me in the neck," Pratt said.

It's not his first snake bite, either. He admits he was once bitten before on his hand when he was 19 years old, so he immediately knew what to do this time around.

"I know it takes eight seconds for the venom to go through your body, so I went to the nearest hospital and I concentrated on my mind, and just kept my mind strong, stay focused," Pratt said.

Dr. Steven Curry at Banner University Medical Center took care of Pratt while he was in ICU. He says the outcome would have been different if Pratt waited longer to seek medical attention.

"When patients experience face bites with injection of venom, as in this case, our experience is that if an airway is not established in the first few minutes, it usually takes 15 to 30 minutes at the most that patients don't have much of a chance to survive," Curry said.

Pratt says he's learned his lesson, and will not play with rattlesnakes to again.