SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Two local people were bitten by venomous copperheads recently which led them both to Memorial Health University Medical Center.

What started out as a normal day of gardening for Georgetown resident, Ishwar Patel, turned into a trip to the hospital.

“In the morning I always walk in my garden,” Ishwar Patel said. “I turn around, I am walking without shoes. Within 2 minutes, the snake came and [bit] me on my right leg.”

Ishwar Patel’s symptoms started to worsen as the venom traveled through his body. He could barely move his right leg and eventually started to experience abdominal pain. Dr. Maulik Patel, a Memorial Health physician, knew immediately something was wrong.

“This is a patient that’s highly functional, never really complains about pain or any issues”, Dr. Maulik Patel said. “And now they are calling me urgently about a situation, it must be very important.”

Not all snake bite victims are given anti-venom. Doctors sometimes choose to treat the symptoms and help the patient’s body fight off the poison naturally. However, because of Ishwar’s symptom progression, he was given anti-venom.

“Anti-venom, it is great to have but very costly,” Dr. Maulik Patel said. “So, there are algorithms to determine which patient would benefit from it rather than every patient getting anti-venom, because of course, the supply of anti-venom also has to be adequate for our area.”

According to the Department of Natural Resources, to keep your yard clear of snakes, you’ll want to make sure you get rid of old brush, piles of sticks or anything else that attracts mice or lizards, which snakes eat.

If you are bitten by a venomous snake, Dr. Maulik Patel advises you to mark the bite, try to take a quick photo and seek medical attention immediately. If you would like to know more about snake bites and what to do, there is a national snakebite support group that has experts across the country to answer questions.