Colorado Boy, 11, Couldn’t Feel His Face or Hands After Falling off Bike and Landing on Rattlesnake That Bit Him

On June 6, an eleven-year-old boy, Ethan Vogel, was biking with his father in Golden, Colorado, when he clipped a boulder, fell off the bicycle, and landed on a 30-plus inch prairie rattlesnake that bit him in the torso near his armpit. The horrific incident occurred approximately ninety minutes into the evening ride.

Ethan Vogel in hospital

After Ethan fell, his dad, Zach Vogel, ditched his bicycle and raced over to his son, who had bloodstains on his shirt. When Zach lifted his son's shirt, he saw two puncture wounds on his chest. Ethan then told his father that he saw a rattlesnake when he fell off his bicycle and then realized he was bitten in the chest, which is not a good spot for a bite from a rattlesnake.

Ethan Vogel bitten by a snake

After realizing that he was bitten by a snake, Ethan was frightened and quickly began to lose feeling in his face and hands. Describing the incident in an interview with NBC15, Zach Vogel said his son was hollering from the stinging pain and was like, ‘Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh.’

Zach kept his son calm by cradling his head in his arms while he called 911. While waiting for first responders to arrive, the 41-year-old terrified father tried to keep his son’s heart rate low. Zach told the outlet that he was terrified as any parent would be because he didn't know how much time his son had and he didn't want to lose him.

Zach said his son's heartbeat, while lying down, rose to 165 beats per minute, as the poison started to kick in fast. When Ethan began throwing up, Zach said he started praying to God that nothing bad would happen to his son and that he wasn’t going to lose his son in his arms.

God heard Zach's prayer and kept his son alive until the arrival of responders within 20 minutes. Ethan was rushed to St. Anthony’s Hospital in Littleton where he was stabilized before being later transferred to Children’s Hospital Colorado. There, Ethan was put on a 90-minute slow drip, as his dad watched and tried to keep him as comfortable as possible.

Ethan, described by his father as "one tough cookie," has since returned home and is expected to make a full recovery in about three weeks. Ethan's family says their son might not be alive, had paramedics not responded as quickly as they did. Notwithstanding the pain he went through, Ethan is still keeping a positive attitude and intends to continue biking as soon as he makes a full recovery.

Ethan Vogel and his dad Zach Vogel

In a YouTube video posted by CBS Sunday, Ethan is seen showing his battle wound and saying that "It's not too bad, the swelling has gone down."

Zach tells the New York Post that they are not fearful of rattlesnakes, saying they are just very aware of them and the danger they pose. Zach says they've learned to keep their distance and listen for the sound.

A Colorado rattlesnake

In Colorado, there are only three types of rattlesnakes, including the prairie rattlesnake, the western massasauga rattlesnake, and the midget faded rattlesnake, all of which are venomous.


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