FREDERICKSBURG, VA (WUSA9) - Rachel Myrick went out for dinner and got a bite she hadn’t bargained for.
While waiting in the lobby of the Fredericksburg Longhorn Steakhouse, she was bitten by a copperhead snake.
That snake bit her three times.
Her first thought was that she’d been stung by a bee or a hornet.
She tried to brush it off and keep going, she told the paper, but felt such a sharp pain she dropped her cellphone and her wallet.
“I had my fingers under my foot and that’s when I felt something moving,” Myrick, a real-estate agent, told the newspaper.
Myrick had been bitten twice on her toes and once on the side of her foot by a roughly 8-inch-long copperhead. The bites left her in hospital for 11 days.
“I freaked out,” said Myrick, who recalled yelling, “I got bit! I got bit!”
Myrick said she was injected with antivenin to bring down the swelling- an expensive antidote that has to be ‘milked’ from venomous snakes.
Antivenin costs anywhere from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars depending on the bite and one’s health insurance.
Myrick said she hasn’t gotten her hospital bill yet.
“It hit the floor between my son, Dylan, and my boyfriend, Mike. Both of them instantaneously stepped on it, stepped on its head and killed it right in that foyer area,” Myrick told WTOP.
After the snake was dead, emergency services were called and Myrick was taken to hospital, where she stayed until Sunday. She was given anti-venom shots and other treatments to reduce the swelling, which spread up to the top of her leg.
Myrick had gone to the restaurant Sept. 12 with her 13-year-old son, Dylan, boyfriend Michael Clem and other friends and family to mark Clem’s return from Afghanistan.
She told WTOP that after-effects have severely limited her mobility and that she is still in considerable pain.
“I’m unable to do anything normal in my day-to-day life,” she said. “My entire life is upside down at this point.”
Myrick told the Free Lance-Star that doctors had said that it will probably take her at least three months to recover. Meanwhile, she’s using crutches to avoid putting pressure on her foot.
“It’s painful just to ride in the car,” she told the paper. “There’s very little that I can do. I can’t work. I can’t take my kids anywhere. Even phone calls are very difficult because I’m medicated. I can chat, but I can’t negotiate a contract on someone’s behalf.”
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LongHorn spokesman Hunter Robinson told the Free Lance-Star that the bite “was a highly unusual incident."
“We are working with our facilities team to see how this may have occurred and we are taking steps to prevent it from happening again,” he added.
LongHorn has wished Myrick well, but she says the night of her ordeal, her family was left to call 911 for her.
“Nobody approached me the whole time," she said.
Copperheads bite more people in the U.S. than any other snake.
They’re also the most most common type of venomous snake in the D.C. metro area. Though painful, they are rarely fatal.
The copperhead snake that bit Myrick was a baby: between 8-12’ inches long. Some young snakes may lack venom control, making for a nasty bite even if the quantity of venom is smaller.
Bruce Anderson, with Maryland Poison Control urges people not to try any home remedies if they’ve been bitten.
Anderson said the best course of action is always to phone poison control, so that experts can guide people on what to do about their bite.
And to keep your distance, if possible.
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