Teen bitten by 2 snakes while mowing Jacksonville lawn

17-year-old Connor Stoll recovering; doctors say venom never entered his body

By Corley Peel - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A St. Johns County teenager was bitten by two snakes while mowing a Jacksonville lawn Wednesday morning.

Connor Stoll, 17, was in the hospital for seven hours, but was doing OK Thursday when he went back for a checkup. Doctors told him that considering the type of snakes that they believe bit him, his injuries could have been worse.

"They suspect it's some sort of rattlesnake because of how high it bit me up on my leg," Stoll told News4Jax as he continued to recover.

CDC: What you should do if you're bitten by a snake:

  • Seek medical attention as soon as possible (call 911 or local emergency medical services).
  • Try to remember the color and shape of the snake, which can help with treatment of the snake bite.
  • Keep still and calm. This can slow down the spread of venom.
  • Apply first aid if you cannot get to the hospital right away.
    • Lay or sit down with the bite below the level of the heart.
    • Wash the bite with soap and water.
    • Cover the bite with a clean, dry dressing.

What you should NOT do:

  • Do not wait for symptoms to appear if bitten. Seek immediate medical attention.
  • Do not apply a tourniquet.
  • Do not slash the wound with a knife.
  • Do not suck out the venom.
  • Do not apply ice or immerse the wound in water.
  • Do not drink alcohol as a painkiller.
  • Do not drink caffeinated beverages.

Two marks could be seen on the back of Stoll's calf, where both snakes bit him while he was pushing a lawn mower Wednesday morning.

"I fell to the ground and I went over and moved to our truck, just sat there and tried to stop the bleeding from my leg," Stoll recounted.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 7,000 to 8,000 people are bitten by venomous snakes every year in the United States. 

To avoid being bitten by a snake, officials said, people should avoid climbing on rocks or piles of wood where a snake may be hiding, and they should stay out of tall grass and piles of leaves unless they're wearing thick boots and long pants. Also be aware that snakes tend to be active at night and in warm weather.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, summertime is when snakes are most likely to be out, since they sun themselves to regulate their body temperature like most reptiles. That's why you see them stretched across the road, and see alligators and turtles sunning themselves on river banks.

“Watch out for snakes and don’t mess with them because it’s a pain and you have a lot to deal with and it hurts a ton," Stoll said. "You just don’t want to mess with them.”

Stoll, who has owned his own lawn service since he was 10 years old, said the snake bites won't keep him from mowing lawns. 

Fortunately, doctors told Stoll that venom from the snakes never entered his body.

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