Jake Closier, eight, had been playing in sand dunes in Norfolk, when the adder struck. It’s venom shrunk his veins and caused a terrifying black wound. His mum Sophie, 32, thought at first that the bite was only from a harmless grass snake.
However, together with dad Kenny, 33, she was horrified when their son’s hand went “completely hard” following the bite.
A helpful local from the village of Hemsby took the family to James Paget University Hospital in Great Yarmouth after the desperate parents knocked on their door.
Jake was saved thanks to an anti-venom drip.
Sophie, of Camden, London, said: “We ran away from the sand dunes and knocked on resident’s door so we could get an address for the ambulance.
“At this point, I did not know how serious the bite was.
Jake and the adder that bit him (Image: SWNS)
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Jake’s hand swelled to five times its size (Image: SWNS)
“The wound was black.
“He was vomiting and could have died. It was so scary.”
She added: “Luckily, a man drove us to the hospital as we were told we’d be waiting eight hours for an ambulance.
“The venom had shrunk his veins so they couldn’t get the anti-venom into him properly.
“They somehow managed to get it in him within the hour.
“The following day, the venom had already gone through his body so we had got over the risk of him losing his life.
When Jake’s hand swelled, his parents knew the situation was serious (Image: SWNS)
“There was still a danger he could have lost his fingers, hand or arm because he developed fluid retention in the tissue.
“His was in so much pain after they tried to stop the poison getting to the heart. That took about four days to go.
“We just want to warn people about adders when they are on sand dunes. Just look what can happen.”
After being observed for 24 hours, Jake was allowed to return home but is now suffering from “constant nightmares” and refuses to walk on grass.
The Woodland Trust state that adders are the only venomous snake in the UK, adding that it is rare for them to bite.