April 16, 2024 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

Deadly Snake bite in the LA Hills

Dear Editor,

At the end of April, I was bitten by what we think was the Mojave Rattlesnake, the most deadly rattlesnake in North America and not usually found outside of the Mojave Desert. I was bitten in Franklin Canyon, an urban park in the hills above Los Angeles. I am your average recreational hiker. I was hiking alone and was struck twice by this extremely venomous rattlesnake. I faced the real probability of dying alone by the side of the road.

After an unbelievably timely rescue by two hikers, I was rushed to Cedars Sinai’s ER and given a 5% chance of surviving. After almost 3 weeks in the ICU and an unbelievable medical odyssey full of twists and turns, and minute-by-minute uncertainty, I beat the odds and am now at home in one piece. My story is unusual and appealing in that I put a face to “OMG that could happen to me.†I hope that my story can help educate and spread awareness of the very real danger of not only the usual rattlesnake suspects, but also these super venomous snakes that share our backyards and urban parks. Until I was bitten, I was completely unaware that these types of deadly snakes were out there. I feel more can be done to protect the innocent public who visit these parks daily.

Mine is an inspiring story of personal survival against death defying odds. I hold the record of receiving the largest amount of anti-venom ever given a snake bite victim. Most people are given 3-4 vials, and in rare cases, 30-40 vials. I received 116 vials! It is a fascinating journey of unprecedented medical treatment by teams of world-class doctors in unchartered waters, who unquestionably saved my life. And, as in all stories of survival, it is an affirmation of the amazing power of hope, love and friendship.
It is my hope that out of my extreme experience an increased emphasis can be placed in educating and protecting our public in our parks, where urban and wild life interface.

Best,
Lorraine Johnson
ljonsson@earthlink.net

in News
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