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Paul Larche

Paul Larche

Why I’m getting a tattoo of a rattle snake.

I was at our cottage on Gloucester Pool on a hot July evening with some work colleagues. The sun was starting to set as I headed out to start a campfire. It was shaping up to be a beautiful night.

Massasauga Rattlesnake curled up on the sandA

As I reached down to pick up some firewood, I felt a sharp sting on my left hand. My first thought was that I was stung by a wasp or hornet. It was getting dark, but when I looked down at the ground, I saw what it was – a snake. My second thought was “I can’t believe I was bitten by a snake”. Then, in a delayed reaction on the snake’s part, I heard the distinct “rattle”. As soon as I heard it, I knew exactly what happened.

I went back into the cottage and told my colleagues that I was bitten by a rattlesnake. Of course, they didn’t believe me and had a good laugh. Rattlesnakes are rarely seen around Port Severn (or so I thought). Fortunately, one of my coworkers lived in the area and had seen a rattlesnake bite before. She knew exactly what it was and immediately called Georgian Bay General Hospital to ensure they had the anti-venom and let them know that I was on my way.

Paul LarcheI told my team I’d go get the shot and be back later to join them around the campfire. A friend drove me to the hospital.

When I got to emerg, they were waiting for me and immediately brought me in. At that point, my hand was starting to swell and ache. After inspecting the bite, the ER doctor said it definitely looked like a rattlesnake bite and that I would likely be in the hospital for a few days. I couldn’t believe it and had no idea what was involved. I never met anyone who had been bitten by one before.

The nurses and doctors at GBGH were fantastic. They were very attentive to my every need (and endless questions). They made every effort to make me comfortable. Everything was explained every step of the way. I ended up getting out sooner than most – only three days. I know much of that was because of the awesome care I received.

I’m now getting my first tattoo with a rattlesnake on it.

– Paul Larche, Supporter of GBGH

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