Sixteen-year-old Vera Oliphant was walking in a rural area outside of San Diego searching for a cellphone signal to call her mom. But she ended up needing to call out for help after being attacked by a group of rattlesnakes.
The San Diego teen was visiting her uncle on Oct. 27, in Jamul. She had walked up a hill trying to get a cellphone signal to give her mom a call.
She heard them before she saw them. "I ran backward and stepped into a pit of snakes, " she told Fox News San Diego. She added, "My body instantly started going numb." She was bitten on her right foot at least six times, first by the mother and then the five babies.
She hobbled back to her uncle's house, and he rushed her to the hospital.
It took 24 vials of antivenom to neutralize the toxin from the bites. The cheery teen with dyed red hair and face piercing spent four days in intensive care, and two weeks at home on crutches to nurse her swollen foot.
But recovery will be slow. "The doctors told me that I need two to three months to completely recover from the bites. But I will feel a weird sensation when stepping on my right leg for years," she told ABC News.
The junior has recovered and was expecting to return to school, Chaparral High School in El Cajon, a little sore and a little wiser.
She told Fox News, "If you're in the desert, for one, wear boots. And two, don't bring your cellphone or go searching for reception, because you probably won't find it anyways. And you might step into a pit of rattlesnakes. "
- San Diego