On Saturday, 47-year-old licensed medical marijuana grower Mica Craig thought he was brushing away a stick by the mulch in one of the aisles in the outdoor gardening department at the Wal*Mart in Clarkston, Washington. Turned out it was a rattlesnake that didn’t appreciate being disturbed.
The snake latched onto his hand, biting deep before being shaken off by a screaming Craig. In true Western form, Craig then stomped it to death. Having run out into the parking lot, Craig stopped, unsure what to do next.
Luckily, bystander Maria Geffre saw the bite and acted fast. “She grabbed me and threw me in my car and headed me to urgent care, which was right across the street, but they don’t take snake bite victims.”
The ordeal continued after getting diverted to the emergency room. His hand hadn’t swelled because they had iced the bite wound, so doctors told him not to worry about it and sent him home. Soon after, his hand swelled up “the size of a grapefruit.”
After returning to the hospital, he was rushed to treatment, where doctors administered six bags of anti-venom and cut open his hand to relieve the swelling.
Craig says he has been told his hand may be permanently disfigured. With limited to no feeling or movement in both his pinkie and his ring finger, he’s just hoping his hand works after it heals. He is expected to be released today.
Wal*Mart has apologized for the incident, and is having the garden center swept by a local pest company for other snakes who may have come in on a shipment or wandered in from an adjoining field.