Man fears losing thumb after being bitten by rattlesnake

Man fears losing thumb after being bitten by rattlesnake

MONAHANS, TX (KWES) - Residents throughout the Permian Basin have reported many rattlesnake sightings in Midland and Big Spring. Now, a man in Monahans is dealing with the the effects of being bit by one, nearly a month after it happened.

"They are most likely going to amputate my thumb. I have no use of it. I can't bend it," said Henry Lemire.

Lemire was at work moving an oil tank when he found a rattlesnake. He dropped the tank on the snake which cut off its head but he said he got to close and was still bitten.

"I just never thought a severed head of a snake would bite me," said Lemire.

Lemire has racked up more than $160,000 dollars in medical bills but said worker's compensation will cover everything. In the meantime, he is not able to work as much because of the extreme pain.

"It starts feeling like fire from the inside out on my thumb. That's the easiest way I can describe it, like a fiery, burning feeling," said Lemire.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department says rain may have displaced some of our rattlesnake population. That's why more may be coming out of hiding. This time of year is also when the snakes give birth.

If you do happen to get bitten by a rattlesnake, seek medical attention immediately.

  • You should not try to suck the venom out.
  • Don't panic. Increasing your heart rate will allow the venom to flow through your body faster.
  • Don't attempt to drive yourself to the hospital. Have someone take you because the venom may affect your vision.
  • Take off anything that may constrict the area that has been bitten, such as jewelry or tight clothing.
  • Elevate the part of your body that has been bitten.

Lemire has set up a donation account:

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