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Girl Falls Into Deadly Snake Pit - And Survives
A Californian teenager has survived falling into a rattlesnake pit where she was bitten six times.
Vera Oliphant, 16, inadvertently fell into the nest, in a rural area just outside San Diego, while searching for reception to phone her mother.
One adult and six baby rattlers bit her and their venom immediately took hold of her body.
She managed to make it to her uncle's house nearby and he immediately drove her to hospital.
Speaking for the first time since the incident, she told ABC News she felt lucky to be alive.
"I was feeling numb and paralysed. I had black vision and I saw bubbles," she said.
"It felt like needles were stabbing me... it burned so hard and it felt like a bomb just exploded in me. It's really hard to describe."
Vera went into anaphylactic shock twice and lost consciousness four times during the ordeal.
She says the fast reactions of her uncle and staff at the Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa saved her life.
Doctors there administered 24 does of anti-venom and kept her in intensive care for four days.
David Oliphant, the teenager's father and also an occupational nurse, told ABC News: "I am used to dealing with patients, but when it's your own daughter it's different."
Vera is planning to return to school next week. She said the next time she has reception problems she will learn from this mistake.
"Be careful where you step," she advises. "If you don't need to, just wait until you are somewhere that you can call people."