Commissioner's Grandson Doing Fine After Snakebite

August 29, 2017

District 4 Dade County Commissioner Allan Bradford confirmed this afternoon that his grandson, Carter Christiansen, is out of the hospital and doing fine after being bitten by a snake on Sunday evening.


Bradford was unable to say what kind of snake had bitten young Christiansen. “We never did find the snake,” he said. “We looked everywhere.” The family feared it was a copperhead, said Bradford.


Bradford said his grandson, 11, a student at Dade Middle School, had gotten off the church bus on Sunday and was crossing the field behind Bradford’s Melissa Drive home to pick up his go-cart and bring it into the garage when he encountered the snake. “Only one fang got him,” said Bradford.  “You can see where it went in.”


The boy’s mother, Bradford’s daughter, took him to Children’s Hospital in Chattanooga. Not knowing what kind of snake had bitten him, hospital staffers kept him overnight and treated him with plenty of fluids, said the commissioner.


That field, basically Bradford’s backyard, might turn out to be a snaky kind of place, because Bradford says he himself was bitten there in 2001 or 2002, presumably by a copperhead. “I let him bite me twice,” said Bradford.


The first time, said the commissioner, he thought he had stepped on broken glass, so he leaned over curiously to assess the situation and was bitten again. He consequently spent several nights at Hutcheson Medical Center, which had no anti-venom at the time he was admitted.


Later research informed him, said Bradford, that copperheads don’t inject much venom on the first bite but on the second they pull out all the stops. “I got everything he had,” said Bradford.


Young Christiansen, apparently, did not, and was released from Children’s on Monday doing fine. He was kept home from school today, and his mother says he has to keep a low profile for the next two weeks to ensure that the incident has left him none the worse for wear, reports Bradford.

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