5-year-old Kansas girl recovering from rattlesnake bite

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A five-year-old Kansas girl is recovering after a rattlesnake bit her.

Timber rattlesnakes live in areas throughout Missouri and parts of Kansas but the bite happened in an unlikely place. Kaitlin Wilkerson just turned five years old. She's the light of her dad's life.

“From the time she wakes up to the time she goes to bed, it's 110 miles an hour, look out!” said Kaitlin’s dad, Trace Wilkerson.

On Sunday afternoon, Kaitlin ran full speed home from the park in Blue Mound, Kansas. As she headed towards her dad, she ran right over a rattlesnake.

“My wife said come here she's bleeding! So I met them and cleaned her foot off and found the puncture wound," said Trace Wilkerson.

Steve Jacobsen at the Missouri Department of Conservation says that is a sure sign of a venomous snake.

“When it bites it will leave two distinct markings that are from the fangs whereas a non-venomous snake, when they bite, it more like a scratch across your skin,” said Jacobsen.

Trace found the snake in a grassy area near his yard, an unusual place and time for this type of rattlesnake.

“Timber rattlesnakes are pretty nocturnal in the summertime. They do most of their hunting at night. Their habitat is rocky, bluffs, wooded areas,” Jacobsen explained.

Trace immediately called 911 and an air ambulance took the 40-pound girl to Children’s Mercy Hospital.

She got there just in time.

“They explained to me if she didn't get up here within an hour and fifteen minutes then the child could have died. She was here within an hour,” said Wilkerson.

Doctors treated Kaitlin but her leg is still very swollen. She’ll remain in the hospital and will need physical therapy.

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