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Deadly brown snake bites boy

Even as a former paediatric nurse, Myola Root found it hard to keep calm when her young son screamed the words, “Mum, get me help… I’ve been bitten by a snake.” 

The energetic eight-year-old had jumped from the back step of the family’s Pechey home and onto the tail of a 50cm deadly brown snake.

"It felt like a needle," Oscar recalls.

Mother of three Myloa said her ‘heart just stopped’ when she realised what had happened.

“He kept saying ‘Mum, get me help. I need help!’” she said.

“It’s so difficult to keep calm when your child is saying those words to you in a very distressed state.”

With Dad Alan at work and their two other children at swimming training, Myola called Triple Zero.

“Seven minutes into that phone call, CareFlight was being dispatched,” she said.

“It would have taken me an hour to get to Toowoomba Hospital if I drove Oscar myself, but it was much less time by helicopter.”

That time saved would make all the difference according to Flight Intensive Care Paramedic Anthony Clark who treated Oscar that day.

“If Oscar was envenomated, he would certainly be a time-critical patient and we’d have to get him to hospital in far less than an hour,” Anthony said.

“There was a fair chance Oscar was envenomated because he had no socks or shoes on when he was bitten.”

Although terrified, Myola said it was reassuring to know CareFlight was on the way.

“My first thoughts were ‘Oh my goodness, this is really serious’ but hearing the helicopter land at the back of our house was the best sound ever.”

Meanwhile, Alan rushed home from work.

"Well, it was like someone hit me in the face with a shovel," Alan said of hearing the news.

Myola flew with Oscar to Toowoomba Hospital where, by a stroke of luck, blood tests confirmed the snake had not injected any of its deadly venom.

“I was very relieved to be told it was only a dry bite. Oscar was a lucky boy,” she said.

After an overnight hospital stay, Oscar returned home with a sore foot and a remarkable story to tell.

To thank the heroes that helped him that day, Oscar and his family visited CareFlight’s Toowoomba Base with a generous $800 cheque in hand. The money was raised from a Ravensbourne Sports Association Fun Run organised by the family.

“We participate in the event every year, always believing that the proceeds go towards such a worthwhile cause, never imagining that we would be on the receiving end,” she said.

“CareFlight is a very important service to our family.

“The crew that was with Oscar and I that day was amazing. I know the crew will only say that they were doing their job, but their actions will never be forgotten by our family.”