Rocky mum tells of horror as deadly snake bites daughter
IT'S every parent's worst nightmare.
What began as an ordinary morning turned into a race against the clock after 18-month-old Aurelia was bitten twice by a highly venomous snake.
Now recovering after spending two days in Rockhampton Hospital, her parents Keiralee and Anton Vella are thanking God she survived.
The traumatic experience happened on Sunday morning in the family's Norman Gardens home after Aurelia was put down to play after breakfast.
"I went to toilet and I heard Aurelia cry which is unusual, because she doesn't just cry," she said.
"I ran out and she was sitting down by the screen door inside of the house.
"When I picked her up, I saw probably 10cm of snake and she was crying - I instantly thought, 'she's been bitten'."
Motherly instincts kicked in and Keiralee rang triple zero, fearing the worst.
"I was trying to stay calm, but there's absolutely no way to stay calm," Keiralee said.
"The colour of the snake was brown, so instantly I was terrified she wouldn't have long to live from the bite.
"I was just praying to God to whole time to protect my baby.
"I first checked hands and feet and I noticed on the left hand side of her left hand in between her pinky and ring finger that there was blood."
Aurelia was bitten twice by a tiger snake hidden in the sliding door tracks near where she was sitting.
An ambulance rushed the child to hospital where a toxicology swab confirmed the species of snake which almost took her life.
The next challenge for little Aurelia was the blood tests she had to endure while she moved from the emergency department, to intensive care, to paediatrics.
"Unfortunately because Aurelia is so small, to draw blood from her was really difficult," Keiralee said.
"So we had about four cannulas put in, but each one had to be attempted three times.
"It really hurt her a lot, it was quite traumatic."
Despite the horror ordeal, baby Aurelia is recovering well from her brush with death and is back to her "cheeky self" according to her mother.
"She's full of smiles and giggles...it's actually unbelievable," she said.
"We just feel so blessed and grateful that she's still alive.
"The (hospital) staff were just unbelievable they worked so hard, they did not stop... they were very compassionate.
"We would also like to thank our friends and family for all their support."