We often take for granted our safety in the comfort of our own backyards until something reminds us that there is still a need for caution. For Elisabeth Nordgarden, she mistook something far worse for a wasp sting.
She and her lively three-year-old son Kristoffer were playing outside one day when he got what appeared to be a wasp sting. But after closer inspection, she ended up needing to call for help when she noticed that her baby’s body was beginning to turn blue.
The assertive little boy was like many children his age, he loved to explore outdoors and play for hours on end without a care in the world. Unfortunately, like many parents, Elisabeth was unaware of any hidden dangers that might be lurking inside an idyllic back garden.
On one warm day, while Kristoffer was playing outside, his mother learned the hard way why it’s a good idea for kids to always wear shoes outdoors. Of course there are many dangers to being barefoot outdoors, the most common are stepping on sharp objects or getting stung by a wasp or bee.
When Elisabeth saw Kristoffer running toward her with tears rolling down his face, she didn’t think there was any cause for alarm. She assumed it was probably just a sting – something seemingly innocent that was not going to post any threat to her baby boy’s wellbeing.
“Then, Kristoffer becagn to cry a little and climbed onto my lap. We thought he had been stung by a wasp or scratched himself on a branch,” she explained.
However, the real cause of Kristoffer’s pain and distress was something much worse than a sting.
While she and her other sons were out visiting family, Elisabeth recalled how that day’s events quickly turned her world upside down.
Fifteen minutes after he had crawled into her lap crying, Kristoffer’s foot began to swell up and started turning blue. That’s when Elisabeth knew something wasn’t right and quickly called emergency services.
“The ambulance and helicopter arrived quickly. They kept saying it was a viper snake bite, and we were transported to the hospital,” Elisabeth recalled.
Antivenom was immediately administered to Kristoffer when he arrived, and the little boy began to show signs of improvement right away.
Unfortunately, his seemingly improving condition took a sudden turn for the worst as he began to bleed internally from his intestines, and the bruising around his ankle rapidly spread across his entire body, practically turning him completely blue.
After measuring Kristoffer’s blood volume, doctors discovered that it was roughly half what it should have been normally.
The little boy even began to lose weight at a rapid pace, quickly going from 44 pounds down to 33. He was locked into a fight for his life.
It took almost two weeks of hospitalization, but by some miracle Krisoffer recovered enough to be able to go home.
The experience has shaken Elisabeth, who now wants to spread an important message of warning to other parents and emphasis the importance of protecting their kids from potential snakebites.
“I have much more respect for vipers now, and I will ensure that my kids wear boots when they go out into areas with high grass in the future,” she said.
While they’re not a 100 percent, boots can provide at least some form of protection from snakebites.
Unfortunately, this story isn’t an isolated incident, as many similar stories from around the world show how many children often don’t survive the experience.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), children often suffer more severe effects from snakebites than adults because of their smaller body masses.
Thankfully for little Kristoffer, at least this story has a happy ending.