This story is of a little boy called Prince Yadav from Bihara Village in Gazipur district of Uttar Pradesh. Bihara is one of those impoverished villages in India which has no electricity. The main occupation of the villagers is farming and animal husbandry. The village is surrounded by fields where crops like paddy, mustard, Tur dal, flaxseed and various kinds of seasonal vegetables grow.
The villagers live in joint families and hence each family has more than 20 people living together. The little boy in this story has been living with his grandmother and aunts while his mother lives with her parents in another district.
It was 9 a.m. in the morning of the 5th of Nov 2015 – a winter day. Two-year-old Prince was playing in the mud next to their house. The brick and mortar house is surrounded from three sides by mustard fields. Prince was digging a hole close to the wall of the house. As he dug deeper, he unearthed a hole. Being curious he inserted his right hand inside and something bit him. He shook his hand and again put it inside the hole. He was bitten once again. Seeing him cry, his family rushed to his side. They saw his hand bleeding due to multiple punctures. No one saw the snake!
Looking at distinctive puncture marks, the family tied a tourniquet on his forearm. His hand started swelling within 5 minutes of the bites. In a few minutes, he started frothing and lost consciousness. Fortunately Prince’s family did not waste time in faith healing. Kachwa Christian Hospital is 9 kms away from Bihara Village. It took approx. 90 minutes for the family to reach KCH. Prince was immediately admitted and intubated. The doctors at KCH personally monitored Prince until he was out of the woods.
Prince was administered 14 vials over a period of 2 days. He developed high fever on the 2nd day of the admission. He was under the careful supervision of the resident doctors who prescribed antibiotics and other supportive drugs. The child was discharged on the 5th day of the bite.
The nurses who took care of Prince speak about his naughtiness even while ill and suffering from the effects of a venomous snake bite.
Over the next few days, Prince’s hand developed severe necrosis. It took almost 4 months for the hand to heal. The author met the child in Feb 2016. The third finger on his right hand is bent and painful. While he does not allow anyone to straighten his finger, Prince will need regular physiotherapy to get the digit functional. The total cost of treatment was ₹ 13,000.
As per the treating doctors, the envenomation signs & symptoms in this case pointed to a Cobra bite.
Written by Priyanka Kadam.