Mom, 9-months pregnant, sucks rattlesnake venom from 4-year-old’s foot

Nothing can stop a mother’s instinct to protect her child, not even deadly rattlesnake venom.

When Jaclyn Caramazza, who is nine months pregnant, took her 4-year-old son, Vinny on a casual walk in Folsom, California, on Tuesday she didn’t expect to have a close encounter of the reptile kind.

After Vinny stepped on “something brown,” she inspected his foot to discover two puncture marks and rapid swelling, Fox 40 reported.

The venom spread quickly to his ankle and leg, which also started to swell and turn purple. That’s when Caramazza’s motherly instincts kicked in and she began to suck the venom from Vinny’s foot.


“We went to Mercy Folsom [hospital], which is about a five-minute drive, and made it in three,” Caramazza told Fox 40.

The two had noticed something coil up just after the bite, and determined after the hospital visit that it was a baby rattlesnake.

“Mama bear instinct in me decided to suck the venom because that’s what ‘Bonanza’ does,” Caramazza said.

Times have changed since the old television show “Bonanza,” however, and the old snakebite protocol is no longer advised.


Today, wildlife officials say to call 911 immediately, keep still, and, if possible, clean the wound superficially, Fox 40 reported.

The easiest preventive measure to avoid being bitten by a poisonous snake is to dress appropriately.

“Any type of boot or some type of leather, something good is going to protect your feet and ankle area, which is a common area for bites,” said Chris Stoots of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Vinny is expected to make a full recovery and will likely be wearing heavier-duty shoes next time he takes stroll in the area, but he’ll have to wait for the swelling to go down first. In the meantime, he has a heck of story to tell his friends.

Fox 40 reported that his mother was not injured by sucking the venom, nor was the baby that’s on the way.

Caramazza vows she’ll be more aware of their surroundings, and says she’s “counting our blessings.”

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