Sitting in front of his single-room house at Inmulnarva, a small village in Mahabubnagar’s Kottur mandal on the outskirts of Hyderabad, 14-year-old Bheemudu involuntarily twitches while making an effort to speak. The slight tremor in the body and his frail figure serve as a shocking reminder of the trauma that Bheemudu, a Lambada, had to suffer.
The teenager cheated and came out of the clutches of death.
It was on the night of April 2, Bheemudu was bitten twice -- once on the left hand and the other on the right -- by the Indian Krait, a venomous snake. The Class VIII student could not draw anybody’s attention. In the morning, his parents found him unconscious with his mouth covered in froth.
Bheemudu was taken to a local quack whose medication did not work. The teen, who gained consciousness for a while, was delirious and complained of unbearable abdominal cramps, a typical symptom of a Krait bite. Relatives then rushed him to Shadnagar area hospital and doctors later referred him to Osmania General Hospital (OGH).
“When their parents brought him here, he was in a coma. We had lost hope but still decided to take a chance. We shifted him to respiratory ICU and put him on a ventilator. He was in coma and on the ventilator for 25 days even as our team kept pumping anti-venom snake drug,” said Head (anaesthesia), OGH, Dr. C.G. Raghuram. “It’s a miracle as after 25 days, his vitals started picking up.”
According to doctors, it is not uncommon for victims to realise that they were bitten by a Krait. “A Krait bite feels like a mosquito or an ant bite. This lulls the victims into thinking that nothing is going to happen. The victims could die of suffocation in sleep or they suffer paralysis. Bheemudu is very lucky,” Dr. Raghu Ram said.
OGH doctors kept Bheemudu alive on fluids for close to two months in the hospital. because of which he has become frail. “I started taking solid food now. I am desperate to go back to school as soon as possible because I am getting bored at home. I want to be with my friends,” says Bheemudu with a glint in his eyes. From a young age, Bheemudu was encouraged to take up education by his class teacher Manjula, who also took care of him while he was in OGH. “He is a very bright student and stood second in the class. He needs help to pursue education as he hails from a poor family,” Ms. Manjula says.
Bheemudu’s parents are daily wage labourers.