Snakebite Turns Little Axe Mom Into Blood Donor

Wednesday, June 29th 2011, 6:43 pm
By: News 9

Darren Brown, News 9

LITTLE AXE, Oklahoma -- As Schelly English-Burks rushed her five-year-old daughter to the emergency room with a snakebite seven years ago, little did she realize the incident would change her life.

Karley English was just five years old when she encountered a rattlesnake while playing outside near her home.  The youngster actually saw it but didn't realize it was a snake. 

"I really didn't think anything about it," she said.  "I just kinda glanced at it and figured it was a stick or something."

The snake struck quickly, leaving two tiny holes and a small amount of blood on Karley's foot.  She ran to tell her mother. 

"I had figured it was a pygmy rattlesnake," said Schelly English-Burks.  "We had seen several that summer."

At the hospital, Karley was given anti-venom, but it didn't seem to work.  Her blood became more and more toxic, forcing Karley's mother to make a tough decision.

"That was hard, having to sign that paperwork," English-Burks said.  "To say that 'You can put someone else's blood in my child.'  That was very hard."

Schelly had never donated blood.  She had never even thought about it.  But when her daughter needed it desperately, she came to realize the importance of donation.  Now days, Schelly is a regular donor.

"I started giving back and started giving blood every time I could," she said. 

Karley, now 12 years old, plans on donating blood when she's old enough.

"Yeah, even though I'm terrified of needles I'll probably do it," she said.