Grandmother vows to continue her walks

Bitten again... Heather Kollar.
Bitten again... Heather Kollar.

That is how the saying usually goes, but for grandmother Heather Kollar, she will continue to go for long walks in Singleton despite being bitten by snakes twice in two years.

Last week, Ms Kollar (57) was airlifted to Royal Perth Hospital after she was bitten by a dugite.

Ms Kollar has multiple sclerosis and asthma, and goes for walks to keep active.

She was walking in hard-soled thongs on November 12 when she stood on a snake.

‘It was awful, like two thick hot needles through the top of my foot,’ she said.

‘It stayed there, so I shook my foot.

‘I walked home, sat down and saw the fang marks.

‘I thought, not again.’

Ms Kollar had been walking in the bush, in the same thongs, two years ago when she was bitten on the toe by a snake.

On that occasion, she received antivenene at Peel Health Campus. Ms Kollar claimed there was no antivenene for dugite bites at both Mandurah and Rockingham hospitals. She said emergency service staff had to call around to find what hospital stocked dugite antivenene.

‘I was alarmed, I thought there is no help because there is no anti-venom,’ she said.

A Peel Health Campus spokeswoman said the hospital had a wide range of antivenene in stock to cover the most common species of snakes in the local area.

‘The Emergency Department have confirmed if they had been contacted, they would have informed the operator they do have the antivenene to treat a snake bite from a dugite,’ she said. ‘To the best of their knowledge, there is not a dugite-specific antivenene.

‘The antivenene for brown snake bites is effective for dugite bites. This antivenene is kept on hand at Peel Health Campus.’

A Rockingham General Hospital spokeswoman said both antivenene and testing kits were standard stock items within its Emergency Department and it was always readily available, including on the day in question.