Jesse is pushed through the hospital grounds in a wheelchair by his parents Jim and Debbie. He has lost 15 kilograms and is learning to walk again.
Jesse is pushed through the hospital grounds in a wheelchair by his parents Jim and Debbie. He has lost 15 kilograms and is learning to walk again.

Friends come to aid of Byron snake bite victim

FRIENDS are planning a fundraiser for Jesse Goggins, a 24-year-old Canadian bitten by a tiger snake on Christmas Eve, to help him get back on his feet

He has been out of work for four weeks while he has been recovering in hospital.

Mr Goggins, who has lived for years at Byron Bay, was walking home with friends to their Massinger Street house after a night on the town when he was bitten.

But he didn't know that at the time - he thought he had just kicked his foot - and the consequences were almost tragic.

Twenty minutes after Jesse arrived home he started vomiting, before being taken by his friends to Byron Hospital, where he was treated for gastritis.

Mr Goggins then returned home, but was still in a lot of pain.

When he woke about 9am on Christmas Day his entire body was in pain and his foot hurt.

As the day wore on his jaw locked up, his tongue swelled and he had difficulty breathing. Mr Goggins went back to Byron Hospital, thinking he was having an allergic reaction to the medication he had been given.

He stayed in emergency for the evening, before being sent to Tweed Hospital.

Mr Goggins was admitted to intensive care, where a blood test revealed an abnormality, so he was sent to Southport Hospital.

By then he couldn't swallow his own saliva, couldn't open his eyes and was paralysed.

After two days in intensive care and a battery of tests a doctor asked if he could have been bitten by a snake.

Urine tests found tiger snake venom.

It was too late for antivenom, so Mr Goggins had to 'ride it out'. He hopes to leave hospital today.

For details of the fundraiser at the Byron Bay Bowling Club next month, call Debbie on 0432 177 922.



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