Paris Montgomery is a Huffman, Texas, high school student and cheerleader who found herself at the hospital on May 15 after getting bitten on the foot by a venomous Copperhead snake. Her mother Tracy posted about the incident on Facebook, saying that her daughter was recording herself on the cheer mat when she was bitten by a snake. It wasn’t until she looked back at the video that she realized her injury was caused by a snake bite.
The entire video is available on YouTube:
Paris was given anti-venom treatment and taken to the Woodlands Texas Children’s Hospital for treatment and observation. On May 19, her mother posted an update, saying that Paris was recovering well, and she’s starting to be able to do a bit more with her foot. She still needs crutches to get around since she can’t walk on it yet and her foot is still a bit purplish in color, however.
Copperheads Are Pit Vipers Common to Texas & Are Excellent at Blending In With Their Surroundings
The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department lists Copperhead snakes as a species potentially dangerous to humans. They are a type of pit viper that is usually found in “rocky areas and wooded bottomlands and are rare in dry areas.” In the spring, they’re most commonly found by streams and rivers or in the weeds of vacant lots.
Orry Martin, who’s known as the “Texas Snake Hunter,” posted about the incident, saying that many people could learn from this unfortunate incident:
In an interview with Fox26 Houston, Martin gave advice on what to do if you get bitten. He said there’s no need to get the snake for the hospital to ID it, but you should try to take a picture if you can. He added:
Focus on remaining calm. Whatever limb got bitten, and usually it’s a hand, but in the case of this young lady, it was a foot, you need to elevate that limb above your heart, so that way the venom doesn’t just settle right at that spot, and then get to the nearest hospital as quickly as possible. If you’re willing to risk it, you can drive to a hospital that is better equipped for this.
Paris & Her Mother Have Shared the Harrowing Experience & Paris’ Recovery So Far
Paris and her mother spoke to Fox26 Houston about the experience. Paris said she’s been using her backyard trampoline and mat to practice cheerleading skills during the COVID-19 pandemic. She explained, “I was about to go tumble on my trampoline, and I always video myself tumbling, and I was just videoing, and then I was taking my shoes off, and I stepped on a snake and it bit me.” She added that she didn’t immediately realize she was bitten by a snake so she first tried to walk it off, but it got worse and swelled up pretty quickly.
Her mother added:
When she first came to me, she said, ‘Mom, I think something was in my shoe, or I got poked by a stick’, and so I didn’t really think it was that urgent until it started swelling. Then I thought maybe a bee stung on her, so I went and got some baking soda and put on it, and it kept getting worse, then wondered if maybe it was a poisonous spider, because I thought it was something in her shoe, because all she remembered was taking her shoe off and it hurting.
She said since the leg kept swelling and it developed a purplish hue, they called an ambulance. Paris told the outlet that it felt like “stinging going through my foot and leg.” It was when they were trying to tell the doctor what happened that they realized the incident was all on video and they discovered the source of the problem. Paris received four doses of anti-venom through IV and she’s been recovering since then.
On May 16, Tracy posted on Facebook that Paris was discharged from the hospital and was back at home. Although her foot was still swollen and sore, it’s “to be expected and will be for [a] few days even possibly weeks.” She thanked everyone for their prayers and support and said, “Make sure your kids have shoes on and watch where they step.”