Snake bite no laughing matter for Darrell
By DAVID MOASE
A MORNING walk led to a night in hospital for Darrell Wallbridge after he was bitten by a brown snake this week.
Mr Wallbridge was in bushland on the northern side of Coffs Creek on Monday when he started moving a tree that was blocking the path.
All of a sudden he felt a searing pain at the back of his right leg but could not see what was responsible.
It was not until he met three Aboriginal men further down the track that he learned the wound on his leg was a snake bite, and only later at Coffs Harbour Base Hospital was he told the bite had come from a brown snake, one of Australia's most deadly species.
For Mr Wallbridge, who works in the entertainment industry, the news was no laughing matter.
"It might have been lying on a branch of the tree I was trying to move, but I didn't see it," he said.
"The snake hit me from behind but by the time I turned around it was gone.
"It gave me a fright and hurt like hell."
Despite the bite and the pain, Mr Wallbridge kept walking towards the Jetty where the three men identified the bite and told him to go to the Galambila Medical Centre.
After receiving first-aid treatment, he went to the hospital where they identified the species of snake responsible for the bite and kept Mr Wallbridge overnight for observation.
"The snake didn't inject me with venom so I'm very lucky but I thought it would be a good idea to warn other people because you don't think there will be snakes in the middle of Coffs Harbour," Mr Wallbridge said.
"I'm feeling okay now but I worry about what might happen if a young person or an older person was hit by a brown snake."
National Parks spokesman Lawrence Orel said it was very typical for people to start noticing more snakes as the weather becomes warmer.