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Medic helps save man from possible ‘worst viper bite ever survived’

The patient required 44 vials of anti-venom as a result of the bite from a Gaboon Viper, one of the deadliest snakes in the world



By Rachel Engel

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — A paramedic is being credited with helping save the life of a man after he was bitten by one of the deadliest snakes in the world.

Thad Bowman, a paramedic with the Myrtle Beach Fire Department, often works with Dr. Jarrett Lark from Grand Strand Medical Center to treat patients across the Carolinas who sustain venomous bites. Bowman works part-time at Alligator Adventure, a 15-acre reptile zoo in North Myrtle Beach.

Dr. Lark contacted Bowman after a patient had been admitted to the hospital with a bite from a Gaboon Viper, considered to be one of the most dangerous snakes in the world, ABC 15 News reported.

Bowman was able to get the antivenom from Alligator Adventure to the patient, who ultimately required 44 doses, more than either medical profession had ever seen a patient need.

“He’s truly a miracle,” Lark said. “To be alive and as functional as he is is truly a miraculous outcome.”

A specialist from Africa who has experience in treating and studying these kinds of bites said the situation was one of a kind.

“He’s thinking from what he’s seen in the field there and speaking with some other experts in Africa, this is going to be the worst Gaboon bite that’s ever survived,” Bowman said.

The MBFD presented Lark with a Civilian Life Saving Award for his work in treating the patient.