Dakoda Cubbin’s backyard bike ride turned into a big adventure when she was flown to Melbourne with a suspected life-threatening snake bite.By John Lewis
Dakoda Cubbin’s backyard bike ride turned into a big adventure when she was flown to Melbourne with a suspected life-threatening snake bite.
Dakoda, 9, was riding her bike in bare feet around her family’s farm at Wahring about 8
She ran inside to tell her mum Julie — and there on the back of her lower leg was the telltale sign of a snake bite.
‘‘We saw two puncture marks and I knew straightaway what it was,’’ Julie said.
Luckily, the Cubbin family had been to Seymour’s Alternative Farming Expo at the weekend and Julie knew what to do.
‘‘We saw the snake man there and he told us the eastern brown was known as the ‘silent killer’. He told us to always have a pressure bandage ready,’’ she said.
When they got home, Julie dug out a pressure bandage from a cupboard, without knowing she’d need it within three days.
‘‘I put the bandage on her and laid her down on the couch. She said her leg was a bit sore,’’ Julie said.
She phoned an on-call nurse who immediately rang 000.
‘‘She said ‘we don’t muck around with kids’,’’ she said.
Julie was told snake bites were more dangerous to children because of their smaller body mass.
Within 15 minutes, an ambulance from Murchison had arrived as well as a Community Emergency Response Team from Nagambie.
‘‘They were brilliant. They kept her calm and monitored her,’’ she said.
Julie said a Mobile Intensive Care Ambulance team also arrived from Shepparton.
Within half an hour, an air ambulance from Bendigo had landed in the Cubbins’ paddock and Dakoda and her mum were being choppered to the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne.
There, Dakoda’s blood was sampled and found to contain no snake venom.
‘‘We were told it was a ‘dry bite’,’’ Julie said.
‘‘It was a huge relief,’’ she said.
After a 12-hour stay in hospital overnight, Dakoda was back home on Thursday.
Yesterday, she was back at Nagambie Primary School with a special ‘‘show and tell’’ story.
‘‘It was a bit scary,’’ Dakoda said.
She said the worst thing was getting a needle in her hand.
But the best thing was the helicopter’s flashing lights in her paddock.
Dakoda said next time she rides around her paddock, she will be wearing shoes and long pants.
Julie said the near-miss was a lesson for everyone to be aware of snakes and always have a pressure bandage ready.
She warned people not to wash the bite site, but recommended placing a piece of gauze or a swab over the bite site to soak up any snake venom for analysis.
‘‘It all happened so quickly. It was a bit overwhelming,’’ she said.
‘‘We are so grateful to all the ambulance people and doctors — they were fantastic. A big thank you to everyone.’’
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