Man dies after being bitten by snake

Man dies after being bitten by snake
Not actual photo of snake which bit Winston.
Not actual photo of snake which bit Winston.

Sleeping in a hut on his farm is a norm for Gregory Winston of Canaries who succumbed to a snakebite last week while spending a night on his farm.

Fifty-six-year-old Winston earned his livelihood by rearing pigs in the Canaries Hills. On Thursday, he and his girlfriend, Lucy were asleep in his hut on the farm when he woke up about 2 a.m. to a stinging sensation in his left arm.

Winston’s niece, Diana Pierre told Saint Lucia News Online (SNO) today (May 19) that it took him a few hours after the attack before he got help. There is no telephone service on the hill top. With the support of his girlfriend, Winston walked through clumps of bushes to get assistance from villagers. An ambulance was called to transport him to the Victoria Hospital.

Pierre recalled Winston’s girlfriend saying that he felt like his arm was “broken”, and by the time he reached at the hospital the colour of his skin had turned black and blue. Winston was later advised by doctors that they would need to amputate his arm. He disagreed and opted for surgery to remove the venom from the snakebite instead. However, SNO was told doctors warned that Winston could have a 50/50 chance of survival with surgery.

Subsequent to the surgery, he complained about severe pain in his arm. He was taken to the Intensive Care Unit where he passed away. Pierre said there was allegedly no anti-venom insulin to treat her uncle.

Winston usually left his home to spend a few days up in the hills. Pierre said he had complained to relatives of a snake infestation on the farm, after spotting a few of them, which he had attempted to kill at times.

Pierre noted that he has already been warned not to return to the hills, after he barely survived a similar attack last year. She said he had been hospitalised for two weeks after the first snake attack. But despite warnings, Winston was persistent to return to his farm and continue his work as this was his only means of income for him and his family.

Pierre indicated that Winston had presumed there was a rattle snake inside the hut, as he told relatives about waking up to a hissing sound one night while there.

Apart from his pig rearing business, Winston had a small kitchen garden in the hills.

Winston has left behind four children – one boy and three girls.

 

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49 COMMENTS

  1. There are no rattle snakes on St Lucia only venomous snake is Fer De Lance so that is what had to of bit him. How is there no anti venom?

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  2. Unfortunately costs continue to rise on everything now days. There is an average of 15-20 bites ayear on st lucia. Fatalities are not common ,but 1 is to many. A small stock of expired anti venom is better than none at all. With the average number of bites that happen i dont think it will have time to expire anyway. With all that being said the snake is a very important part of the islandsecology,and should be respected. Education and awareness of this snake could greatly reduce the number of bites. I have worked with this snake for many years in the field and in captivity. Also rattlesnakes do not occure on the island, the locale venomous snake is from the lancehead group.

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  3. My prayers go out to the children and their mother. "Wow shame on you" government of St.Lucia no Anti-Vernon. This is not acceptable.

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  4. How can a hospital not have anti-venom? shame of the politicians in st lucia...u money hungry people need to take care of your citizend and their health...without the citizens there is no st lucia.

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  5. Honestly I would not be surprised that there was a rattlesnake involved because with the movement of pets anything is possible, if the dr. Had given the man the anti venom she would have said, apparantly there was no talk of that, the talk was about amputation of the hand, I agree with the bloggers, we have to move forward we have to grow with the times, we have one of the deadliest snakes in the world we should by now be producing our own venom why we have to wait on martinique,why, can't st lucia not invest in nothing for them selves, why do we always have to beg, its high time we have specialized services here, if was a tourist what would have happen, I'm certain they would find anti venom same where some place, we pride ourselves on saying we are a tourist destination with all those jungle tours being sold during cruise season I feel its high time who ever is responsible shape up, I m so maddd about this, another sensless death, innocent children lives being split because of anti venon. The family should sue.

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    • there are lots of measures to be taken after a snake bite . first of all u must place a tourniquet to the affected limb then try to cut the wound to make the blood flow. soon after wash the area with fresh water this measure is taken to prevent the venom from traveling to the heart .

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      • You absolutely never use a tourniquet in regards to a snake bite. By stopping the blood flow you can develop what's known as compartment syndrome in the muscle below said tourniquet. A simple compression bandage is all that is ever needed and for the victim to stay as calm as possible till he can reach some antivenom

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      • It is very well known that a compression bandage is what is used in terms of a venomous snake bite. Never a tourniquet which can lead to compartment syndrome in the muscle. A tourniquet is about the worst thing you could possibly apply to a venomous snake bite. I don't know why people give advice when they have no idea what they're talking about

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  6. anti venoms should be free.thats why there is a health minister,which means they are not doing they job

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    • People are always quick to say who is not doing what. What is the occurrence of snake bites in SLU? This is the most important question. All drugs have an expiration rate. It may not be cost effective to have every single drug on hand. That is what the world boils down to. cost effectiveness. Also, do you know that bacteria infection from the bite can kill as well? Infections spread quickly through the extremities.

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  7. am from st.lucia but right now am in cancun mexico i travel all the times from mexico to canada,but i do missed my country and proud to be a st lucian ,and hope they will work on a anti venom pretty soon.

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  8. This is beyond sad..... we have a farmer who was bitten by a snake who was most likely lied to at the hospital (surgical procedure to remove snake venom) since when, I really hope that these doctors knew that amputating his arm would have most likely failed so why lie to a man who has hours to live... Can a real journalist somewhere bring up these issues.... no anti venom ain't that just something they need to wait till u in A&E before they make an order... I mean that just like saying we didn't know the snakes here bite but thanx for telling us your death will not be in vain... he had 4 kids tell that to them. I really hope that the Health Minister comes on TV and talk about this and the steps taken to make sure it never happens again.... I really hope there are not more snakes than people on the island.... topics like these need to be taken more seriously by the people who report news in our country become a journalist and make this a story of national importance cuz it damn well is.... I cannot blame the minister of health for not knowing about the anti-venom situation as it is not a common occurrence but I will blame her if she takes no immediate course of action on this rare but serious concern please let her know if you fail even 1 Saint Lucian as a minister you have failed us all

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  9. Too long Lucians have being undermined.Them doctors know damn well amputating the man arm would not save his life.Such a shame a small island with more snakes than people we dont have not an ounce of antivenom.
    Another oppurtunity for employment in St.Lucia.Recuit indiviuals giving them the nessecary equipment to haverst venom from those Fear De Lance and Rattlers.There is room to make big bucks.Lets create an anti-venom industry.Lets sell anti-venom PM Kenny.

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  10. Too long Lucians have being undermined.Them doctors know damn well amputating the man arm would not save his life.Such a shame a small island with more snakes than people we dont have not an ounce of antivenom.
    Another oppurtunity for employment in St.Lucia.Recuit indiviuals giving them the nessecary equipment to haverst venom from those Fear De Lance and Rattlers.There is room to make big bucks

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  11. Since when have there been rattle snakes in Lucia?? Has there been any warnings as to which areas are prone to have them?? Surely every one knows that you will die from a rattle snakes bite if you dont get antu venom ASAP, so why is there none on the island?? Since when do they operate on people to get rid of a snakes venom? these doctors must be smoking some serious shit.

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  12. And to the ordinary people (not party hacks) you need to take your DESTINY INTO YOUR OWN HANDS right now and to hell with those party patronising Jackasses. The reason being that all of you will die. That is how the great countries of this era started. INCOMPETENCY STOPS NOW!!!!FIND ANOTHER JOB!!!

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  13. It does'nt matter whether it has a short shelf life or not the fact is it is medication and it should be made available. Our country is overidden by the fer de lance and you are concerned about "its so expensive". Lucians we need to realise that all life is important.Can the PM put the man's children up in the new mansion at Coubaril or the proposed one at La Toc. We pay taxes and we demand that medication be brought by whatever means necessary to treat the people. F... Party Hacks the people know what they are talking about and feeling and if it were your family then you would be on the same tune with this incompetent PM "i watched my father die from snakebite." Bull*** i say. The PM doesn't pay taxes here we do so SHUT THE HELL UP. We are saying we have no jobs in the place here's our chance to produce anti-venom. Martinique produces it to help their people. Then again you can't even open a forensic lab where you already have the building and the man power. It stays closed only on political reasons.

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  14. We have these deadly snakes back home and no anti venom to treat a snake bite its a shame.
    Can we find those rapist that attack those two women last week and put them in a house with those rattle snakes and call it justice for the women "you feel me" lol

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  15. So sad. Im so upset, St. Lucia is so backward.
    The doctors know you cannot undergo surgery, wIth a snake bite. choops.
    WHERE IS THE DAMN ANTI VENON. WE HAVE SNAKES HERE, SHAME ON YOU'LL. NO CARE.
    Barbados doesn't have the poisonous yet still they have Anti Venon. HEALTH MINISTER, THATS WHAT YOU ALL NEED TO TALK ABOUT, ALL YOU DO IS TALK RUBBISH. NONE SENSE. NO HEALTH CARE.

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  16. IM AN EXTENSION OFFICER AND WE'VE ASKED THE MINISTRY FOR SNAKE KITS AND TRAINING FOR YEARS NOW!UP TO NOW NOTHING HAS HAPPENED DESPITE THE PROMISES MADE.MY WORK AREA HAS SNAKES AND I PRAY EVERYDAY THT I DNT COME ACROSS ANY BECUZ I DONT KNW WHAT I WILL DO!!!!!!!!!ITS SO SAD THT THOSE KIDS HVE BEEN LEFT WITHOUT A FATHER.LIFE IS SO UNPREDICTABLE AND SAD

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