Fenil Virendra Dhedia is a 20 year old B.com graduate living in Borivli, Mumbai. He is the youngest amongst his siblings. Following his father’s footsteps, Fenil works in a garment shop that sells children’s wear.
Bite incident: Every year Fenil’s employer takes his staff for an annual outing. On 25th June 2015, thirteen staff members were taken to The Great Escape, a resort situated 20 kms from Virar station on the outskirts of Mumbai. The property is situated in a scenic backdrop with boundary walls on three sides and one side open to the outgrowth that spreads into the valley below.
The resort has 2 swimming pools with water slides and games. That day Fenil had been in the pool for a while and was crossing over to go to the other side. Right on the cobbled ground a juvenile Russell’s viper was also crossing the path. Fenil stepped on the little snake and in a reflex action it bit him on the big toe. It was like an ant bite at the beginning. The resort’s staff caught the snake and was proceeding to relocate it when they were told about the bite incident.
The staff asked Fenil’s employer to immediately rush him to a hospital. The group went to a health centre nearby and Fenil was administered a tetanus and pain killer injections. He was then taken to the Shatabdi Hospital situated between Borivli and Kandivli stations. The snake was bottled and taken along for identification purposes.
The bite incident had occurred at 3 p.m. and Fenil was admitted to Shatabdi Hospital after 2 hours.
Thanks to the world of social media, news about Fenil’s unfortunate encounter spread like wild fire within the snake rescuer community via Whatsapp.
In faraway Beed District, Sarpmitra Amit Bhagat, from Maharashtra Police had been bitten by a bamboo pit viper just two days ago and the author had helped him with details of doctors for consultation purposes. He was lucky it was a dry bite. The memory of the bite was fresh in his mind and when he read about Fenil on Whatsapp, he immediately contacted the author. It was around 6.45pm.
We quickly swung into action, got in touch with Mr Virendra Dedhia, Fenil’s father. We reassured him about his son being in safe hands and also presented the facts about his being bitten by a highly venomous snake. Fenil was complaining of severe pain in the leg and abdomen. He was administered 15 vials of antivenom. Mr Virendra wanted to shift Fenil to another hospital but was advised to not do so as the hospital had the necessary facilities in case of an emergency.
A CT Scan of the abdomen was done on 26th June at 4 a.m.. Fenil remained in the hospital for the next 5 days.
Fenil was extremely lucky to have suffered no tissue damage in the local area. The venom of the Russell’s viper has a hemotoxic effect on its victim. This means there could be internal bleeding and haemorrhage accompanied by intense pain and local area necrosis. But in Fenil’s case, there was minor swelling in the local area that remained for 2 days and then subsided.
The author kept in touch with the victim’s father inquiring about his well-being. Fenil was discharged from the hospital after 5 days. Within 10 days of the bite, Fenil resumed work and suffers no after effects of a venomous snake bite. He has been advised by the doctor to wear cotton socks for a few days.
Today is the thirtieth day since Fenil was bitten by the juvenile Russell’s viper. As we type this story, Fenil is enjoying a movie with his friends.
Written by Priyanka Kadam