Harrison Ford’s fedora-wearing, crooked-grinning, ne’er-do-well archaeologist character Indiana Jones became a movie icon not just because of his rugged charm. He also had great lines, especially when discussing his singular phobia: snakes.
“Snakes. Why did it have to be snakes?” he intoned in “Raiders of the Lost Ark” after discovering a reptile-choked ruin.
It’s a sentiment many of us can agree with — and the Oehlers of Granite Shoals, Texas, in particular.
On Jan. 20, 5-year-old Emily Oehler was on a day trip to Longhorn Cavern State Park in Burnet, Texas, with her parents and two siblings. But that getaway almost turned deadly while she was playing around the picnic area.
“We were walking around, just messing around, looking at things,” her mother, Alicia Oehler, explained to Inside Edition. “And [Emily] just came flying around that bush like bloody murder just screaming, ‘Snake, snake!’”
A mother’s worst fear had come true: Emily had been bitten by a snake, and not just any snake, but a western diamondback rattlesnake, one of the most venomous on the continent.
“We are a family that watches a lot of documentaries,” Oehler told TODAY. “It made it that much scarier, knowing and trying to hold back every fear and emotion I could just to keep going.”
First responders quickly got Emily to a nearby hospital. But it soon became apparent that she’d need more intensive treatment.
Oehler recalled that “we get maybe a mile or two away, and she started vomiting and wouldn’t stop vomiting. So they called in a helicopter to rush her in for treatment.”
Medical professionals evacuated the girl to Dell Children’s Medical Center in Austin, and that was where her true fight began.
Doctors pumped her full of antivenom, but the poison still moved up from her foot (which was the site of the bite) all the way to her abdomen.
Emily alternated between screaming and crying from the pain, and the venom blistered the skin around her wound.
But after more than 40 doses of antivenom, she seems to be out of the woods.
Unfortunately, the Oehlers don’t have health insurance. With each vial of the life-saving medicine costing $2,500, they’re looking at medical bills of more than $100,000.
“We’re supposed to be moving in July, and we’ve worked so hard to get our credit good and stay on top of bills” Oehler said. “But we much rather have a healthy baby girl than anything else.”
Fortunately, it seems that concerned strangers are stepping up to help the family. As of press time, a GoFundMe campaign had raised $36,750 for Emily’s treatment.
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