Snakebite Survivor: Idaho Teen’s Recovery and Financial Hurdles
A fundraiser has been posted to support a 13-year-old Idaho boy who is recovering from a rattlesnake bite.
Idaho Teenager Hospitalized after Rattlesnake Bite
A 13-year-old boy, Jace Hicks, suffered a rattlesnake bite while camping with his grandparents at Bird Creek campground outside of Featherville, Idaho, on Monday, July 17th. Following the incident, Hicks was transported four miles by his grandparents to Featherville, where local community members worked diligently to stabilize him while they waited for hospital transport.
Emergency Medical Evacuation and Initial Treatment
An emergency helicopter airlifted Hicks to St. Luke's Hospital in Boise, Idaho. There, the teen underwent two separate sessions of anti-venom treatments through an intravenous line. The medical team administered a total of 14 vials of anti-venom, each carrying a hefty price tag of $100,000, for a total of $1.4 million.
Producing anti-venom is a complex and lengthy process involving venom extraction, animal inoculation for antibody production, and rigorous testing and purification. The complex process contributes to the steep price tag associated with each vial of this life-saving treatment.
Positive Progress in Patient's Condition
After initial treatments, Hicks was moved from the pediatric intensive care unit to the regular pediatric ward. Though this move indicated an improvement in his condition, doctors warned of potential long-term nerve and tissue damage due to the rattlesnake venom's destructive capacity, which can persist for up to two weeks post-bite. Fortunately, Hicks' condition and blood work showed significant improvement in the following twelve hours after the treatment.
Continuation of Care and Monitoring
To ensure no residual venom persists, doctors scheduled another minor anti-venom treatment for the following days. Regular blood tests were also planned every three days to monitor his recovery, with immediate checks scheduled in case of renewed swelling. It's possible that additional anti-venom treatments will be needed if his blood work results do not improve.
Follow-up Treatments and Prognosis
If Hicks's condition remains stable outside the hospital, the young patient will need to maintain regular communication with his physician in Twin Falls, who will monitor his blood work, swelling, and the state of his hand and arm. Additional hospital visits in Boise for further anti-venom treatments might be needed, with each visit followed by a 24-hour observation period. Weekly check-ups with a specialist will also be necessary to monitor the healing process of the tissue and nerves affected by the venom.
Fundraiser to Support The Hicks Family
The incident has taken a significant financial toll on the Hicks family. Parents, Cody and Katie Hicks had to take a leave of absence from work to stay by their son's side. The family is currently commuting between Twin Falls and Boise and residing in a hotel near St. Lukes. There is no doubt the family will be enduring financial hardships over the coming months due to Jace's medical care. A fundraiser has been posted for anyone wanting to donate to help offset medical costs, travel, and lodging for the family.