A little boy has miraculously survived being bitten twice by a venomous snake in the space of almost a week in Western Australia.
Joel Canning, 6, who lives in Wongan Hills, in WA’s Wheatbelt, northeast of Perth, kept telling himself, “I’m not going to die” as he ran to his mum.
Little Joel had been outside the family home when was bitten by one of the world’s most venomous snakes: a western brown.
His mum, Pippa, said the boy “came in quite calmly” but had a question.
“(He) asked me, ‘if you get bitten by a venomous snake in Australia – do you go to heaven?’
“And I said ‘yes’ and then he went down.”
When Joel collapsed, Ms Canning realised she had to breathe for him. The six-year-old knew not to panic so as “to not pump the venom faster”.
“Somehow I got the strength to pick him up (and) walk through the house with him while he was convulsing,” the mum said.
“His eyes were rolling back. He was hissing and I knew he wasn’t getting enough oxygen.
“So, every third step I stopped and did rescue breaths before being able to get him in the back seat of the car.”
The boy’s mum and dad rushed him to hospital before he was flown to Perth.
Then eight days later, Joel was bitten again by the same species of snake on the same street.
Joel’s mum thought again he was going to die but the boy was confident he would survive because he managed to the first time.
“I did, I prayed for that and my prayer came true,” Joel said.
It’s possible he still had anti-venom in his body from the first bite.
It also helped the hospital is located at the end of the Canning’s street and stocks the anti-venom Joel needed.
While the Wongan Hills boy has managed to survive two separate attacks from one of the world’s deadliest snakes – he’s not the same following the ordeals.
His mum said he suffers anxiety attacks that a snake could bite him again.
“They’ve (anxiety attacks) been happening at school now,” she said.
“So, when he did cross country because of his heart pounding and they’re running through the bush he thought it was the venom again.”
The Canning family is encouraging all families to learn first aid.