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All Snake Killers
God has made us different,
he made us so unique.
We slither on the ground,
we have no hands and feet.
Though you find us scary,
or maybe just plain weird,
our intentions are not to hurt you
or cause you such great fear.
Our venom's not meant for humans
but to help us when we eat.
So, please stop the senseless killing
before we're all extinct.
We're not saying you have to love us
or tell us we're the best.
God's the one who created us.
So, treat us with respect.
written by Sarah Clark
for Southeastern Reptile Rescue
Fears are educated into us
and can, if we wish,
be educated out.
-Karl A. Merringer
A righteous man cares for
the needs of his animal...
Timber Rattlesnake Bite
Local man remains in ICU following rattlesnake bite
White County News Cleveland, Georgia
As an avid hunter and fisherman and a former Boy Scout, Doug Hiler's family continues to wonder how and why the 48-year-old White County resident became victim to a rattlesnake bite earlier this month.
"It is curious to the family as to why Doug got bitten in the first place," said his sister, Debbie Godfrey of Toccoa. "He knew the dangers and precautions to take. This does not make sense to us."
Since the vicious bite near Hiler's residence in the Post White Hill Road area on Sept. 1, the brother Godfrey describes as "the kind of person who helps a stranger and friend alike" has been struggling in the intensive care unit at Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville.
Godfrey, along with Hiler's parents, Bob and Jean Hiler of Blairsville, and other family members have been trying to piece together the events that led up to their loved one's horrific ordeal.
From what Godfrey has been able to gather, her brother was in his jeep with two of his dogs riding along a dirt/gravel road leading to his house.
"It was about 2 p.m. and he had just left one of his neighbors when he returned a few moments later telling them he had been bitten by a rattlesnake," she said.
According to Dan Godfrey, Hiler's brother-in-law and Debbie Godfrey's husband, Hiler was bitten on the left hand by what he thought was a dead rattlesnake.
"He was going to cut off the rattles, like most of us would," Dan Godfrey said.
Debbie Godfrey revealed the neighbors, upon learning of the bite, immediately called a neighbor who was a nurse and 9-1-1.
"When the nurse got to Doug, she called 9-1-1 and asked if a tourniquet would help," Godfrey said. "She was told not to use a tourniquet."
It took about 45 minutes for medical help to arrive and more time to reach the hospital, Godfrey said.
By the time Hiler arrived at the emergency room he was "bleeding from everywhere," according to his sister. "The snake venom had already started breaking down his blood cells."
To make matters worse, Hiler is highly allergic to both bee stings and poison ivy - a fact hospital staff was unaware of until Hiler's parents arrived.
"This complicated Doug's condition severely," Godfrey said. "I believe it would have helped the medical staff to have known this information up front by [way of] a medical alert bracelet or some other notification."
In any case, Hiler was put on a respirator, kidney dialysis and more than 17 medications.
"The venom damage has been done to his liver, kidneys and other vitals organs," Godfrey said. "The liver can regenerate itself if it is not too damaged."
Hiler remains in ICU on a ventilator, but he is breathing some on his own with ventilator support.
"He has become more alert," Godfrey said of her brother who she also describes as "your best friend from the moment he meets you."
"But," Godfrey said, "he is in a great deal of pain."
In the meantime, Hiler, who is self-employed, continues on the road to recovery and his family is asking for prayers.
Family members also are helping keep Hiler's home in order and caring for the six German Shepherds he is raising.
A fund to help with Hiler's expenses has been established at Community Bank & Trust.
Tips to avoid snakes and snakebites
According to Godfrey, one of Hiler's neighbors who lives near where the family believes the incident occurred told her he had killed three rattlesnakes in his own yard.
The idea of one rattlesnake, let alone three, is frightening.
You should seek medical attention immediately if you are bitten by a snake - but below are suggestions to follow if you encounter a venomous snake, as well as some tips to help keep snakes off your property:
-Stay a safe distance from the snake and, better yet, leave it alone. Most bites occur when someone tries to catch or kill a snake and most bites are inflicted on the person's hand or forearm
-If a snake is in your yard, either call someone trained in its removal or stand at a distance
-Step on logs rather than over them
-Watch where you put your hands and feet
-Do not risk handling venomous snakes if you are not professionally trained
-Keep your grass cut and remove any debris
-Control the rodent population
Update on abive story -
Rattlesnake bite victim dies Oct. 12
Doug Hiler, the Cleveland man bitten by a rattlesnake more than a month ago, has died from the injuries he suffered in the incident.
Hiler, 48, died Friday, Oct. 12, at Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville.
He was bitten on the left hand by the rattlesnake near his residence in the Post White Hill Road area of White County on Sept. 1 and remained in the intensive care unit at the hospital until his death.
Funeral services for Hiler were held Tuesday.
He is survived by his parents, Bob and Jean Hiler of Blairsville, and several siblings.
See complete obituary on Page 7A.
Articles taken from White County News in Cleveland, GA
Douglas John Hiler
Mr. Douglas John Hiler, 48, of Deer Hollow Lane, Cleveland, Ga., formerly of Gainesville, Ga., died Friday, Oct. 12, 2007 in the Northeast Georgia Medical Center following a rattlesnake bite injury on Sept. 1, 2007. Doug was born February 4, 1959 in Atlanta, Ga., the son of Bob and Jean Hiler of Blairsville, Ga. The family moved to Gainesville in 1962 from Decatur, Ga.
Please keep Doug's family in your prayers.
View photos and information about the Timber Rattlesnake.