Ontario woman nearly dies — twice — after snake bite
Shalabha Kalliath’s legs buckled as pain shot through her body during a walk on a beach in Thailand.
When she looked down, a small snake dangled from her right big toe. She was able to slam it against a wall in Ko Phi Phi before collapsing during a vacation late last month.
“I swore at it and I fell immediately,” said the Ontario woman, who came close to death twice — once in Thailand and then again after a flare-up in Canada — after the bite from a Malayan pit viper.
“I felt horrible, I was nauseated and unable to move.”
Someone else killed the snake that day. Its identification, by a Thai medic, would later help save the 26-year-old.
After being bitten, the recent engineering graduate of the University of Waterloo said a friend and a stranger helped her to a nearby clinic on the idyllic Thai island where one doctor told her she could die.
“I’m thinking, ‘some context might be nice,’” she said, recalling that she felt her mental faculties failing and was unable to process the possibility of dying.
Doctors at the clinic told her the venom had made its way into her blood and she needed the antidote — antivenin — which they didn’t have. Kalliath said she was then taken to a hospital for treatment.
“That was a disaster,” she said, describing doctors and nurses as the facility as very laid back. “It was the worst hospital I could imagine.”
At one point, Kalliath said a doctor told her that “people die, it’s part of life,” to which she responded “well I don’t want to.”