News

Bitten twice by taipan, gran tells of fight for life

AS THE warm weather begins to stir, so too do the snakes, a fact one Fraser Coast grandmother knows all too well after surviving not one but two strikes from one of Australia's deadliest.

In October last year, at her Boonooroo home, 62-year-old Jan Bradford was chatting with her husband after returning home from work when a taipan up to 2.1m long attacked without warning.

"My husband and I were in the shed talking and the birds started going off like they do when a snake is around," she said.

"It came in through the door of the shed and was up ready to strike.

"My husband managed to pin it with a garden edger and it was flicking back at him, then I grabbed an axe and pinned it but it spun around and got me twice on the hand," Mrs Bradford said.

"I work in community aged care so I'm first-aid trained so I got my husband to put on a compression bandage and he drove me to Maryborough."

After being rushed to town, Mrs Bradford was then flown via rescue helicopter to the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital in a critical condition.

"It never crossed my mind I was going to die," she said.

"It was only when I spoke to a senior medical officer later that she said nobody thought I'd make it out of Maryborough.

"At the time I thought 'no snake is going to kill me' but it was the fight of my life.

"I was hallucinating and remember hearing them say, 'If we don't get her this time she's gone' and then I saw a light and a ribbon and I thought maybe I should grab that ribbon.

"It took all my energy to grab the ribbon and when I did I heard them say, 'We've got her'."

Fraser Coast Regional Council ranger Roy McGrath said while he's never heard of a taipan acting so aggressively, snakes can be a danger in the warmer months.

"Snakes start to come out of hibernation around the end of September," he said.

"Breeding season is only a few weeks away."

Mr McGrath said while most snakes were timid, there were measures people could take to reduce risks.

"People should make sure they've got their yard cleaned up to avoid attracting rats and mice, which the snakes eat.

"Keep your lawn low and don't leave stuff lying around. Also, make sure you leave them alone if you come across one."

 Jan Bradford, 62, was bitten by a taipan twice at her home in Boonooroo and survived to tell the tale.
Jan Bradford, 62, was bitten by a taipan twice at her home in Boonooroo and survived to tell the tale. Contributed

Topics:  boonooroo, editors picks, grandparents, maryborough, snake bites, snakes, taipan




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