A woman in the foyer of a LongHorn Steakhouse in Virginia suddenly felt a sharp pain in her left foot as if she were bitten by a bee, but she soon discovered it was something far worse.
After walking through the first set of doors of the Massaponax restaurant, Rachel Myrick, wearing sandals, was bitten by a copperhead snake that was about 8 inches long.
By the time she recognized the source of the pain, the venomous snake had bitten her twice more. She was bitten twice on the toes and once on the side of her foot in the incident that occurred Sept. 12.
"Steak not a snake, that was the plan," she told WTVR.
When the bite became more painful, she reached down to her foot.
"I had my fingers under my foot and that's when I felt something move," Myrick explained to The Free Lance-Star. "I freaked out…[and began yelling] 'I got bit! I got bit!’"
She shook the reptile from her sandal. Then, Myrick's 13-year-old son Dylan and her boyfriend, Michael Clem, stomped on and killed the venomous snake.
"I've bred and raised reptiles for 15 years," Clem told The Free Lance-Star. "There was no question what it was."
Myrick was transported by ambulance to Mary Washington Hospital, where she spent the next five and a half days receiving anti-venom, Benadryl and anti-nausea medicines as her foot and leg became bruised and swollen, according to WTVR.
"The nausea was horrible, the itching was uncontrollable," she told WTVR.
Even now, nearly two weeks later, Myrick is using crutches to get around because it's too painful to put any weight on her foot.
"It's painful just to ride in the car," the real estate agent told The Free Lance-Star. "There's very little that I can do. I can't work. I can't take my kids anywhere. Even phone calls are very difficult because I'm medicated. I can chat, but I can't negotiate a contract on someone's behalf.
"They say that your life can change in a moment, and they're absolutely correct."
The recovery process is expected to take three months.
Myrick was the 19th snakebite victim of the year at Mary Washington Hospital and it wasn't a surprise that a copperhead snake was the culprit, as they are the most common and least toxic venomous snake in Virginia.
"If you're going to be bitten by a venomous snake, that's the one you want to get bitten by," Dr. Nathan Charlton of the Blue Ridge Poison Control Center told The Free Lance-Star.
The copperhead snake is believed to have come from a nearby retention pond down the hill from the restaurant. Being small, it can crawl into small spaces.
As one would expect, the steakhouse was apologetic and concerned.
"Our primary concern is for the wellbeing [sic] of Ms. Myrick and we want to provide any assistance we can," the LongHorn Steakhouse told WTVR in a statement. "This was a highly unusual incident, and we are working with our facilities team to see how this may have occurred and we are taking steps to prevent it from happening again."
Read more about venomous snakes on GrindTV