It wasn't the Christmas Day councillor Pam Kensit or her family had anticipated.
Bitten by an angry, venomous eastern brown snake in her back garden, Cr Kensit was rushed to Crookwell Hospital.
"We had a large party of family over and I was excited. I went outside without my boots on to get roses for the centre of the table, when I saw the cat sitting in an unusual spot," Cr Kensit said, recalling the lead-up to the bite.
"So I was looking at the cat when I felt a whip at my leg and I turned around to see a very angry snake."
Cr Kensit ran straight inside and her daughter, a nurse, and son's partner, a pharmacist, quickly bandaged her leg while the family called for help.
There was a single fang mark on her leg, although Cr Kensit said she couldn't feel any pain.
They met an ambulance on the road and Cr Kensit was taken to Crookwell Hospital before transferring to Goulburn Hospital.
Fortunately, no venom had been inserted into Cr Kensit's leg, but it was a close encounter.
"I just wasn't paying attention and I was returning to the same spot I'd already been to water a plant earlier," she said.
Cr Kensit believes the cat may have stirred the snake before she went outside.
A lot of snake bites in Australia are dry bites, where no venom is released.
However, it is very hard to tell if venom has been released or not and all snake bites should be treated as a medical emergency, Healthdirect said.
What to do if bitten by a snake:
- Call triple zero (000) for an ambulance.
- Apply a pressure immobilisation bandage and keep the person calm and as still as possible until medical help arrives.
- Avoid washing the bite area because any venom left on the skin can help identify the snake.
- DO NOT apply a tourniquet, cut the wound or attempt to suck the venom out.
- Advice from Healthdirect.
Cr Kensit's snake bite was the only recent snake bite in the area - normal for this time of year - a Southern NSW Local Health District spokesperson said.
She said she was incredibly grateful for the way the paramedics and hospital staff took care of her.
"I had amazing treatment. They did bloods all the time to check if any venom had gone in," she said.
The bite mark was about five inches from Cr Kensit's ankle bone, a common place for a snake bite, according to the medical professionals who treated her.
That meant even if Cr Kensit had been wearing boots, the snake could have attacked in the same place.
Cr Kensit's encounter with snakes didn't stop there, either.
"Three days later, I was swimming in Lachlan River when I saw a black snake. I moved away quickly and so did it."
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