Tuscaloosa woman, son bitten by copperhead

Kimberly Pettway and her son spent an entire weekend in the hospital after being bitten by a...
Kimberly Pettway and her son spent an entire weekend in the hospital after being bitten by a snake.(Kimberly Pettway)
Published: Jun. 9, 2022 at 11:12 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 10, 2022 at 10:29 AM CDT
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - A Tuscaloosa woman and her son were bitten by a snake in 2021. Now, Kimberly Pettway is sharing the experience to warn others.

Luckily, they both got to the hospital in plenty of time and recovered just fine.

“Me and my son both were bitten before we ever laid eyes on the snake,” said Kimberly Pettway.

She lived through a nightmare with her ten-year-old son Kingston.

Pettway says as they were walking a friend out to the car, she noticed her son didn’t have shoes on and made a comment about it.

When coming back inside the garage of their Tuscaloosa home, the incident happened.

“As you can image, the two cars, in the garage,” said Pettway. “We walk in between and he’s walking in front of me. As soon as he turns left, he says, ‘Ouch’ and raises his right leg. I thought he was about to trip so I grabbed him and I said, ‘Are you ok--’ I didn’t even get okay out and I felt something on my foot.”

Pettway says it felt like a shock went through her body.

“The top of his foot, you could see the two prongs and it seems as if he kind of jerked a little quick,” she said. “It wasn’t as clean of a bite as mine was. Mine was clean. Two prongs on the side of my foot, just as clear as day.”

She said the snake was easily identifiable. It could be described as a textbook copperhead.

Right away, the family jumped in the car and headed to the emergency room. Pettway said her husband, Antoine, drove them.

Kimberly Pettway said she had no idea what to expect.

“If someone has this type of experience, which I hope not, they need to understand that they have time,” said Pettway. “We learned at the hospital you have about a six hour window.”

She remembers the medics measured where they were both bitten to see if the swelling was moving up their bodies.

She also learned before they could treat her son, they needed to call Poison Control.

“The swelling was pretty significant that we needed to start anti-venom and then they started mine,” said Pettway.

Now, she’s hoping to prepare others just in case.

“Just remember to pack your patience when you go to the hospital because it’s a process there,” she added. “It’s a process there to treat you in the best way that they can.”

Pettway doesn’t want people to live in fear, but simply be aware of the risks and what could happen. She says the more prepared, the better.


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