CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — Shooting hoops landed a local teen in the hospital after being bit by a copperhead snake.
14-year-old Benjamin Levy went outside to play basketball Monday and ended up at the hospital instead.
“He opened up the garage door, and waiting for him was a copperhead,” said Benjamin’s father, Joel Levy.
The copperhead snake bit him right in between the toes. He immediately grabbed his two-year-old brother and ran inside.
“He came running in and said, ‘Dad, I think I just got bit,’ I looked at his foot, and it was quite bloody,” Levy said.
His dad, Joel Levy, knew he needed to figure out what kind of snake bit his son, so he turned to the internet for help.
“I frankly posted something on Facebook that said, ‘Hey, just for verification, is this, in fact, a copperhead?’” Levy said.
After getting confirmation from the community, he rushed his son to Novant in Matthews, where they thankfully had a supply of antivenom.
The only catch?
“It was $15,000 per vial, and you get a minimum of four vials and a maximum of six, so it’s a $60,000 treatment,” Levy told Queen City News.
The family made the easy decision to administer the treatment and settle the rest with insurance later.
According to the World Animal Foundation, they’re not the only ones who get surprised by snakes. Annually, 7,000-8,000 Americans are bitten by them, with 5-10 of those being fatal. North Carolina has the highest bite rate in the country.
Levy says he hopes his family’s ordeal is a reminder to others that venomous snakes exist in the Carolinas and a reminder to his kids as well.
“I continuously tell my children, and I have six,” Levy said, “they need to close the garage door because, I say, snakes will want to go inside,” he continued, “and I say, ‘Hey, if you’re going to go outside you need to wear shoes.’ and so my son is taking this in very good humor, has laughed, and said, ‘I guess, dad, you were right.’”
Benjamin’s swelling has decreased, but he will have a follow-up appointment on Wednesday.