AUSTIN (KXAN) — Five-year-old Emily Rose Oehler is out of the hospital and back home as she recovers from a western diamondback rattlesnake bite at Longhorn Canyon State Park in Burnet County.
On Wednesday, Emily Rose suffered a setback and needed additional doses of antivenom, her mother, Alicia Oehler, said.
Oehler said her daughter is currently in a wheelchair because she can’t step or stand on the foot where she was bitten. Eventually she’ll progress to using a walker to get around. The family has a check-up scheduled next week for blood work.
Emily Rose was taken to Dell Children’s Medical Center by STAR Flight helicopter after the bite on Saturday, Jan. 20. She received 16 doses of antivenom in 24 hours. With the additional doses, she received at least 30 total, her mother said.
The family is keeping an eye out for “serum sickness,” which can kick in a week or two after antivenom is used, causing nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Oehler said Emily Rose is very happy to be home.
Because the Granite Shoals family does not have insurance, the mother feared their bill for the antivenom alone could be $2,500 for each vial, amounting to at least $75,000.
The family has set up a fundraising page to pay for medical bills, having raised more than $37,000.
A Texas Parks and Wildlife spokesperson said rattlesnakes normally don’t strike in the cooler months.