POLK COUNTY, Fla. – A man who was bitten by a rattlesnake in Florida and lived to tell the tale said he doesn’t remember anything until he woke up at the hospital.
Jerome Roddenberry picked up the snake, which was shot, on April 9 because he thought it was dead. The 5 and a half-foot rattlesnake bit his hand.
Roddenberry was reunited with the paramedics Friday who were dispatched to River Ranch hunting grounds to aide him the day of the bite.
Roddenberry said he doesn’t remember much of anything starting 30 seconds after the bite, because "things got bad, fast."
“I have no memory of my helicopter ride,” Roddenberry said.
He was airlifted to Osceola Regional Medical Center to receive 32 vials of antivenin.
Roddenberry said he feels lucky to be alive. Polk County Fire and Rescue shared photos of Roddenberry’s black and blue arm and his swollen hand.
“You saved my life,” he said to the paramedics. “You kept me going until I got to the hospital.”
Battalion Chief Bobby Bohn said his crews know the risks of working in areas with dangerous wildlife.
“Just last month our crews were extinguishing a brush fire when (a rattlesnake) slithered by,” Bohn said.