A Greenville woman is living proof that snake bites can demand immediate attention. “If I had not received treatment when I did I would have lost my arm,” Lori Ulmer said Friday from her hospital bed at the Hunt Regional Medical Center. Ulmer was in her backyard Wednesday, just up the hill from a creek that runs through her 30-acre property, retrieving some pipe for an irrigation project. “And evidently he must have been inside it because when I reached to grab the PVC pipe is when he bit me,” Ulmer said about the copperhead that sank its fangs into her left index finger.
A check of several major medical centers around the Metroplex – including Parkland and Baylor in Dallas – showed that Ulmer may have been the first local person to seek treatment from a venomous snake bite this season.
Snakes and other animals have been flushed out of their normal habitats in recent days due to the deluge of rain that has fallen across North Texas, according to experts.
Ulmer’s left arm still shows some of the swelling that resulted from her snake bite, as well as several pen marks which doctors used to track the extent of the swelling up her arm.
“And it made it all the way up and around back to here,” Ulmer said, pointing to her armpit.
Several NBC 5 viewers have sent in pictures of snakes they have found on their properties, in cities like Paris and Waxahachie.
Daryl Sprout of Snake Encounters, a Dallas-Fort Worth-based company which provides snake removal services in addition to educational and interactive snake shows, told NBC 5 that too often he sees people respond with fear to the harmless snakes on their property and kill them.
“One dead Texas rat snake can mean 300 live Texas rats,” Sprout said Friday. “Be proud of them, Texas!”
Lori Ulmer agrees with Sprout’s advice.
“No, I do not hate snakes,” Ulmer said, with a smile. “I’m not gonna go out and just touch one, but I’m not gonna go on a revenge spree either and try to kill all the snakes on my property.”