Firefighter injured after being bitten by decapitated rattlesnake

SPRING HILL, Tenn. (CNN) – A Tennessee firefighter was attacked by a snake he decapitated. The firefighter was on a hiking trail with his wife and two children at the time.

“It was a juvenile timber rattler. So, I decided to cut the head off the snake, with a kayak paddle,” Kyle Watson, snake bike victim, said.

The snake was only a few feet long and Kyle wanted to show his children the head of the snake.

His wife took some cell phone picture.

Unable to pick the snakes head up with the paddle, he used his hand. What happened next could only be described as terrifying.

“The head turned and struck me on the finger. It latched on and I slung it off.”

The snaked packed a venomous punch.

“It took about 10 seconds for the burning sensation to start shooting through my arm and within 60 seconds, I was unconscious. I fell on the trail and hit the back of my head on a rock.”

Kyle was in trouble for a number of reasons.

“I was unconscious in a remote area, bleeding from the head and bitten by a snake.”

Cheeks Bend Natural Wildlife area encompasses thousands of acres of pristine land, but it’s also miles from help. A quick response by Murray County Fire and EMS Kyle was Life Lighted to Vanderbilt where the anti-venom continues to drip slowly into his system.

A toxicologist with Vanderbilt Medical Center says the only treatment that can save someone bitten by a poisonous snake is anti-venom serum.

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