5-Year-Old 'Fighting for Her Life' After Three Venomous Rattlesnake Bites

A recent kindergarten graduate has been fighting to stay alive after she was reportedly bitten three times by a rattlesnake and later had an allergic reaction to its venom.

According to mom Cyndi Spell, 5-year-old Maisy was playing outside on Friday when the snake reared its head outside her father's Georgia residence. Cyndi told Newsweek that Maisy and her other siblings were spending the weekend there, as it was their father's turn for visitation.

"[My ex-husband has] a pet outdoor cat at his house named Lucky ... immediately upon arriving, My oldest daughter and Maisy jumped out of the vehicle to go find their cat," she explained. "The cat, unfortunately, had cornered a timber rattlesnake near a tree in the yard ... the oldest daughter ran up first and chased after the cat who darted away, Maisy right behind her ran up and the snake immediately attacked, biting her [three times]."

Cyndi said she "knew it was bad" when she realized at dinner that she had missed seven phone calls from her ex-husband.

"I panicked, started yelling at the server to tab me out now," she said. "I ran out in my heels and dress and sprinted to my car."

Rattlesnake bit 5-year-old now 'fighting for life'
A recent kindergarten graduate has been fighting for her life for the last week after a venomous rattlesnake bit her three times in her father's backyard. Courtesy of Cyndi Spell

In a statement to WALB, Cyndi reported that the snake bit her daughter three times on her right leg. Once emergency services arrived and put her in an ambulance, Maisy reportedly went into anaphylactic shock.

"The amount of times that snake bit her, was enough to kind of sedate an elephant at this point basically," Cyndi claimed in her statement to the outlet.

Cyndi told Newsweek that she and doctors are unsure if the allergic reaction was caused by "the high amount of toxin in her ... [or if] she [is] allergic to the snake venom itself."

Cyndi also noted that her daughter's recovery was challenging at first. "It was rocky the first few days after we were life-flighted to Shands [Hospital] in Gainesville, Florida. She had to have her breathing tube surgically removed and a smaller one put in due to the swelling in her throat."

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Cyndi provided an update on Maisy's condition via Facebook on Monday. At the time of the post, she had reportedly received 37 vials of anti-venom, along with a steady flow of morphine.

"Each time it is administered her leg swelling goes down, only for it to wear off and swell back up," she shared, noting that her doctors were fearful that Maisy could need surgery. "It is a hard waiting period at this point... We are all running on little to no sleep, quite a few tears, and prayers that this is just the final hurdle of a horrible snake race for our little one."

Twelve hours later, Cyndi reported that Maisy had received 41 doses of anti-venom since the ordeal.

"The [doctors] will continue to monitor her leg through the evening, hoping the swelling stays down with just the maintenance dose. She was able to eat today at the end of the day, not much, but it was a start. And her final request... 'can I sleep with you mommy,'" Cyndi posted on Facebook.

Cyndi confirmed that Maisy has "had 41 vials of anti-venom total, along with steroids, antibiotics, pain meds like morphine, etc."

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Fortunately, Maisy's lab work on Tuesday looked promising and she remained stable overnight. A few hours later, she was moved out of the pediatric intensive care unit into the regular pediatrics recovery wing.

"[Doctors] said she has done some miraculous healing. They plan to monitor her thigh a bit longer, where the swelling had spread some... but overall we shouldn't be here much longer," Cyndi added on Facebook.

Cyndi confirmed in a statement with TODAY that Maisy's health is improving. "She's a lot better," she said. "The doctors are blown away at how she has pulled through. Her leg finally quit swelling ... Aside from her puffy leg, the bite marks that are still prominent and five days in pediatric intensive care, she's her same silly smiling self."

Cyndi also shared with Newsweek how amazed she is by Maisy's impressive resilience. "She's been the same happy and determined spirited girl as always, she isn't afraid of the snake she said ... [she is] just upset she didn't get away as fast as her cat did," she said. "She's ready to go home and swim and play as if nothing ever happened. She blows me away."

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Additionally, Cyndi said that Maisy's recovery is going so well that she may soon be discharged.

"We are waiting on poison control to okay her recent bloodwork but it should be later today or tomorrow," she said.

In order to alleviate the medical costs of the anti-venom, antibiotics, steroids and fluids, a friend of Cyndi's created a GoFundMe, which has since raised over $12,400 since it was created earlier this week.

"I don't think I can thank you all enough, or even individually because there's so many of you who have prayed for her/us that we don't even know. Those of you who donated, those of you who sent messages of care and concern ... We are blessed to know when it all fell apart that you all were there to reassure us God would heal her back together again," Cyndi added. "So thank you [times] a million."

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Her biggest takeaway from the event was the importance of educating children about the dangers around them, Cyndi said.

"I wish I would have taught the girls to notice a cat preying on a predator...so maybe they wouldn't have bombarded it," she said. "I wish I would have known just how significant a snake bite can be...it's nothing even remotely like a dog bite...I wish I was educated on anti-venom and the cost, effectiveness, etc. The more you know right?"

Earlier this week, a viral video surfaced of an experienced zookeeper being bitten in the face by a python. A day later in Australia, a snake wrangler was nearly bit in the face by a venomous red-bellied black snake.

Updated 06/25/2021 at 3:30 p.m. to include statements from Cyndi Spell.