NASSAU COUNTY, Fla. – A 4-year-old boy is in stable condition after he was bitten by a rattlesnake in the Bryceville area Friday afternoon.
Brayden Bullard was taken to UF Health Jacksonville, where he was getting antivenin. He was then to be transferred to the intensive care unit at Wolfson Children's Hospital.
Brayden is the grandson of Nita Crawford, the Baker County supervisor of elections. She said Brayden was in his backyard in Bryceville with his dad hoeing watermelons when a 4-1/2-foot-long timber rattler bit him on the arm.
"Brayden screamed out and blood was on his arm and he pointed down and he screamed snake and pointed down and that's when his dad saw it was a timber rattler and grabbed him up and took him," explained Crawford.
Brayden's dad immediately took him to Fire Station 46, where emergency workers flew him to UF Health.
"It just killed him, broke his heart to see him in pain," said Brayden's uncle, Clay Bullard.
Bullard explained that snakes are common in their area and that often times the family dog helps to pinpoint rattlesnakes in their backyard. So far this year, Bullard said, the dog has helped the family catch five timber rattlers.
"He found almost every one we've found this year. He's the one who's located them for us. We don't usually let them stay around. We usually get rid of them as soon as possible," said Bullard.
Brayden's father acted so quickly to get his son help that he didn't worry about catching the snake; but Bullard said he'll find the rattler.
"I'm going to be hunting him more than he's going to be hunting food tonight," said Bullard.
Crawford said Brayden has a beautiful smile, is full of life and loves the outdoors. She is asking for the community's prayers.
"We're all praying and that's what we're asking for, prayer," said Crawford. "The Lord will get us through it."