Man prevents venomous snake from biting his grandson

CALLAHAN, Fla. — A Florida grandfather protects his grandson by taking a snakebite for him.

Thatcher Nightingale jumped between a venomous rattlesnake and his three year old grandson on Father’s Day.

The boy, Shelton Dawkins, was picking berries when he noticed the pygmy rattlesnake.

The snake bit Thatcher on one of his fingers. The venom traveled from his finger to his arm, attacking his nervous system. Thatcher experienced excruciating pain in his chest.

The boy’s mother, Haydn Dawkins, said she is thankful for the grandfather’s help.

“Especially for a 3-year old. He’s this big, so it probably would have traveled through his system a lot faster,” said Dawkins.

Pygmy rattlesnakes grow between 15 and 24 inches long. The snakes have small fangs, but those small fangs have venom powerful enough to damage tissue and in some cases cause death.

The grandfather killed the snake after he was bit. Thatcher Nightingale bagged up the snake and took it to the hospital, so doctors knew what they had on their hands.

Nightingale is in good health but still being monitored in ICU.

Doctors expect him to make a full recovery.

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