At around 5:30pm on Monday evening, our oldest daughter Kate was bitten by a brown snake.
However, we didn't think she had been bitten (she told us that she had seen it, and that it had run over her foot where she was playing on some farm equipment behind the dog pens, not far from where we were talking to the fuel truck driver). I looked at her foot (and horror of horrors, spat on my finger and rubbed the dirt off her toes!), but couldn't really see any marks apart from a tiny mark on her toe, that she said she had kicked earlier in the day.
Fifteen minutes later, she collaped on the ground, convulsing and vomiting. This bit will haunt me for the rest of my days - at first I thought she was mucking about, for about 10 seconds. The next 35 minutes were the longest of my life. When I rolled her onto her side where she had collapsed, I yelled something along the lines of "GET AN AMBULANCE!" and Trevor took her from me. I ran for my car, tried to start it and ring 000 from the mobile, but the car wouldn't start & phone flat. I then ran for his ute, but 000 didn't want to connect on his phone. So I then ran for the house (we were out in the back paddock), running into our neighbour who had heard us yelling. She quickly took the other two kids back to her house, bringing back bandages.
Meanwhile I had contacted 000 on the cordless phone and returned from the house with our woefully inadequate first aide kit. Our neighbour Marie and I then bandaged the foot where we thought she had been bitten, and I held her in the recovery position and kept her responding to me by having her squeeze my hand. She was semi conscious and still vomiting.
Marie's husband brought over their car, a Kluger and I informed the ambulance dispatcher that I thought she was detioriating and that we would meet the ambulance enroute to town, some 45kms away. I started off sitting on the backseat with Kate half on, half off my lap, but this didn't help her airway, so knelt on the floor as best I could (my skinny days are long gone!) trying to keep her on her side. She couldn't speak but responded to my questions and was having trouble breathing. Trevor broke all speed records on that trip, and it felt forever before the ambulance was sighted - we had passed the half way mark to town where we met it.