Man survives 'snake bite that went terribly wrong' in Polk County

Polk Co., Fla. - A Polk County man is thankful to be alive after he says a snake bite went terribly wrong.

Jerome Roddenberry was bit by a five and a half foot rattlesnake at the River Ranch hunting grounds on April 9. 

Roddenberry was airlifted to Osceola Regional Medical Center where he says doctors told him it was a snakebite that went terribly wrong. 

The Polk County man, whose been around snakes since he was child said he went to pick up the snake after another camper shot it.

Roddenberry said he went to pick it up and remove it because it was an area near his grandchild, and other children. 

The snake, likely in distress from the gun shot, turned so quickly and bit him in the hand, likely pumping what venom was left.

After the bite, Roddenberry lost consciousness after taking a few steps, "that's about the last thing I remember," he said. 

"In less than a minute he started slobbering,  and rolling his eyes in the back of his head, sweating and shaking," said his wife Racquel. 

Roddenberry was given 32 vials of anti-venom in the hospital while in ICU.

"God is amazing." said his wife, Racquel Roddenberry.

The couple is thankful for the prayers, and they credit the first responders for saving him. 

On Friday the two went to go thank some of the crew that was there that day, "were you one of the ones there also?,"

Roddenberry reached out his swollen hand to thank one of the firefighters.

Captain Glenn Andersen has been with the department for 15 years and this is the first venomous snake bite he's responded too. 

"Identifying the snake ended up being our first priority to make sure we got him the proper care," said Andersen.

Roddenberry, not a fan of cameras, shared his story to remind people about respecting wildlife in Florida.

Print this article Back to Top