DEBARY, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Authorities say a 5-year-old Florida boy is recovering after being bitten by a rattlesnake that he mistook for a toy. The incident happened Saturday north of Orlando, in DeBary.
Eli Vaughn was playing in the backyard when he saw the snake under a jungle gym. It bit him on the finger.
"It feels like a needle," said little Eli, in an interview with FOX 35.
Eli's mom, Tyler, said she will never forget how frightened she was when she heard what had happened.
"My family members ran up, and they all had white faces and they looked scared to death! My cousin couldn't even get the words out, and I was like, what happened? What was it? What was it?"
The family rushed into action, calling 911.
"They prompted me in the ambulance that this could be a 'really big deal,' and we had to get him to a specialty unit and start the anti-venom, because it could be deadly" Tyler explained.
Eli was rushed to Central Florida Regional Hospital in Sanford, where he was treated with the first dose of anti-venom, and then transported to Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children in Orlando for additional doses.
"I'm just so glad that my whole family sprang into action and all the wonderful care we got between the EMTs and two hospitals, nurses," said Tyler. "Everybody was amazing, took care of my boy, and now he's good as new."
Deputies say the snake was caught and killed.