A South Florida park ranger who was bitten by an eastern diamondback rattlesnake over the weekend says he might not be alive if it weren't for the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue's venom response team.
Ranger Anthony Terry was bitten in the hand as he was trying to remove the snake from a storage closet in staff housing at Everglades National Park on Saturday.
"I was trying to be brave and not yell or scream and holding it in and that didn't work out very well, it just made me worse," Terry said Friday.
Terry, who has been a ranger since 1992, was picked up by helicopter from Everglades National Park and received anti-venom within an hour of the 911 call at Homestead Baptist Hospital.
"The initial pain was like a hot iron, it felt like a hammer that had been heated up," he said. "I started hallucinating. I thought I was gonna die."
Though his finger was still swollen Friday, Terry said he's doing better. The swelling is caused by a water blister that will help protect the wound from infection.
Experts said it could have been a lot worse.
"If something is going to kill you from Everglades National Park, it's likely to be an eastern diamondback," said Lisa Wood, with the Miami-Dade Fire Department.
Terry will be back to work soon on light duty. He said his position is considered essential so he hasn't been furloughed during the partial government shutdown.
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