Snake bites can’t stop lawyer

LISMORE barrister Megan Cusack has praised the quick actions of paramedics, doctors and her husband for saving her after she was attacked by a brown snake on Saturday.

Ms Cusack yesterday said she was pulling up a weed at her home when the snake struck repeatedly from long grass.

Ms Cusack said she didn’t see the snake until it had bitten her.

Her first thought was she had banged her finger, but on the snake’s final strike, its fangs got stuck in her finger and she had to wrench it free.

Ms Cusack’s husband Peter O’Conner quickly called the ambulance and paramedics were on the scene within minutes.

Ms Cusack said she had barely got through telling the paramedics she thought she was okay when she collapsed. Moments later she began having fits.

“I almost bit my tongue off,” she said yesterday.

Making matters worse was a side-effect of brown snake venom, which stops blood from clotting. By the time she reached Lismore Base Hospital’s emergency department, her feet were covered in bruises as the venom exaggerated the impact of ‘every bump, every knock’.

That problem really came to the fore when doctors began trying to inject her with anti-venom.

When they found a vein, blood would gush out because the normal clotting process that would slow, then stop it, wasn’t working.

Nonetheless, the doctors succeeded and by Monday she was able to return home.

“The staff at Lismore Base Hospital and the ambulance officers were great,” Ms Cusack said.

Most people might take such an attack as an excuse to have a few days off, but Megan Cusack isn’t most people.

On Monday she was back in meetings over legal cases, although she conceded she had to take an early mark because she felt unwell.

By Tuesday she was back at work as if nothing had happened.

One thing that will change, she said, was that she would be much more cautious when gardening.

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