A perfect family day out was planned by a grandfather for his son and two grandsons to pick berries in sunny Florida, but, little did they know what they were about to be faced with.
Three-year-old Shelton Dawkins spotted a snake and called out to his grandfather. Before he got closer to the potentially deadly creature his grandfather jumped in to protect his grandson.
The results could have been tragic and even more so if the snake had got closer to little Shelton but thankfully he has a superhero for a grandpa and won’t realize until he’s older the sacrifice he made for him.
When the young boy saw the snake he said: “Poppa, snake. Poppa, snake,” Thatcher Dawkins, the boy’s father, recalled him saying.
When grandfather Thatcher Nightingale saw the snake he knew it was bad news — a pygmy rattlesnake was heading right for his grandson.
Pygmy rattlesnakes are small and have a rattle that sounds like an insect buzzing. Their venom can be very painful and in some cases fatal.
The heroic grandfather jumped in between his grandson and the snake and took the venomous bite himself.
He was bitten on his finger and the venom quickly traveled up his arm, attacking his nervous system and creating excruciating pain in his chest.
“He said he couldn’t image Shelton going through that pain because, even for a grown man his size, it was still curling him up,” Dad Thatcher Dawkins recalled his father saying.
Dusky Pygmy Rattlesnake from the Florida panhandle. pic.twitter.com/YmB1g1075V
— Bryan D. Hughes (@rattlesnakeguy) November 30, 2017
The son stepped in and killed the snake and the grandfather was rushed to the hospital. They took the snake with them so the doctors knew how best to treat the grandfather.
He was treated and kept in overnight so doctors could keep an eye on him but they expect him to make a full recovery.
Shelton’s parents will be forever grateful to the heroic man who took a poisonous bite to protect his precious grandson.
Shelton’s mother Hayden Dawkins recognized how much worse it could have been if the snake had bitten the youngster.
“Especially for a 3-year-old. It probably would have traveled through his system a lot faster,” she said.
I’m so thankful Shelton wasn’t bitten by the snake. This sweet boy will realize the sacrifice his heroic grandfather made for him as he gets older.
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