A 2-year-old girl has made a miraculous recovery after she was bitten by a rattlesnake while playing with family members.
Riley Stone fell unconscious and stopped breathing within five minutes of the venomous timber rattlesnake sinking its fangs into her leg.
"I was at work at the time but Riley was playing with her cousins in my brother’s yard and she just started screaming,” Riley’s mom, Lori Stone, told SWNS. “My husband Michael ran to her and he instantly saw blood dripping down her right leg.”
There were clear puncture wounds from the 4.5-foot-long snake in Riley’s leg.
The bite instantly immobilized Riley's central nervous system and her body began internally hemorrhaging as the venom broke down her tissues.
Her organs also began to fail.
Riley was rushed to hospital and then airlifted to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville, N.C., in a critical condition.
Riley’s parents said her body was so inflamed that she was unrecognizable.
The toddler was treated with the 20 doses of the anti-venom, CroFab, and spent five days in the ICU following the attack.
But Riley, now 4, has recovered well. She still has limited movement in her foot due to nerve damage and uses a brace to walk.
Doctors hope this will be improved by a muscle and tendon transplant this summer.
"I never knew there were rattlesnakes in North Carolina, and we feel so lucky that we still have Riley because we thought we were going to lose her," Lori Stone said.
After the attack, Riley’s uncle, Michael Sikora, found and killed the 4.5-foot long snake. He now keeps it on display in his home.
"That rattlesnake was a big as they come and my brother has actually had it stuffed for Riley," Lori Stone said. "I hate looking at it, it’s so scary.”