Friday, February 09, 2018

Woman who survived dog attack, bitten by snake on her bed

Four years after dog attack, a snake bites her on her own bed in her room... A Port Elizabeth woman who survived a savage dog attack four years ago endured a second terrifying encounter this week when she was bitten by a puff adder she discovered on her bed.
Carol Jafta, 57, told yesterday of her ordeal when she was bitten on the hand on Wednesday night after picking up the snake to prevent it slithering away even further into her one-bedroom shack in Malabar.
Jafta even attempted to drown the reptile in a bucket of water before her husband arrived and
beat it to death.
The couple then wrapped the snake in a plastic bag and walked about 3km to Livingstone Hospital with it so that Jafta could be treated.
Jafta – who lives in an informal settlement known as Crank Grootkloof opposite the quarry in Malabar – was discharged from Livingstone yesterday.
“I am glad I am alive. I still have pain and my hand is swollen,” she said.
“The doctor said I would have died if it was a bigger puff adder. It could have been worse.”
Recalling the drama, Jafta said she had walked inside her home at about 6.30pm, when she saw the snake on her bed. “It started to slither away. “I took a piece of cloth and wrapped it around my hand.
“I then grabbed it [the snake] by the neck area so that it did not slip away. “Suddenly, it turned and bit me.” Although in shock and pain, Jafta reacted quickly.
“There was a bucket of water nearby. I tried to drown it [and] went to fetch more water so the snake did not have a chance to get way,” she said.
Jafta’s husband, James Jaffon, 58, then arrived home and killed the snake.
“We decided to walk [to Livingstone] because there was no transport,” Jafta said.
“We also do not have a phone to call the ambulance.”
While the thinking behind taking the dead puff adder with them was so that hospital staff could identify it, this belief is something of a myth.
KwaZulu-Natal snake bite medical expert Dr Bianca Visser – explaining her treatment of a young snake bite victim this week – said it was not necessary to take the snake to the hospital.
“If someone is bitten by a snake, it is imperative they receive appropriate treatment as soon as possible.
“We do not need to identify the snake to be able to manage a patient appropriately, therefore people do not need to try to catch or kill it before seeking emergency care.”
Port Elizabeth snake specialist Mark Marshall confirmed that Jafta had been bitten by a puff adder.

Carol Jafta
Picture: Brian Witbooi

“I collected the snake from her at the hospital,” he said. “That lady is very lucky.”
Jafta spent more than six months fighting for her life in Livingstone four years ago after she was viciously mauled by a pitbull in Schauderville.
Her face was disfigured and she now speaks with difficulty.
Jafta said she had been sleeping at the home of an acquaintance and had woken up to find her husband being attacked by the dog. She was mauled when she went to his assistance.
Jafta said she had also been struggling to obtain an identity document from the Department of Home Affairs.
“I am unemployed and cannot access my grant. I need help.”
She received 17 vials of anti-venom, but this week she was able to attend her first day of primary school after being discharged from hospital.

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