Summer Camp Leads to Emergency and a $142K Medical Bill When Snake Bites Girl

It was dusk as Oakley Yoder and the other summer camp kids hiked back to their tents at Illinois' Jackson Falls last July. As the group approached a mound of boulders blocking the path, Oakley, then 9, didn't see the lurking snake — until it bit a toe on her right foot."I was really scared," Oakley said. "I thought that I could either get paralyzed or could actually die."Her camp counselors suspected it was a copperhead and knew they needed to get her medical attention as soon as they could. They had to keep her as calm and motionless as possible — the venom could circulate more quickly if her heart raced from activity or fear.One counselor gave her a piggyback ride to a van. Others distracted her with Taylor Swift songs and candy as the van sped from their location in a beautiful but remote part of the Shawnee National Forest toward help.First responders met them and recommended that Oakley be taken by air ambulance to a hospital.The helicopter flight transported Oakley 80 miles from a school parking lot just outside the forest to St. Vincent Evansville hospital in Indiana, where she received four vials of antivenin and was then transferred to Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis for observation.Her parents, Josh Perry and Shelli Yoder, were already in bed that night when they got the call about what had happened to Oakley. They jumped in the car and arrived at Riley about two hours before their daughter. Once she made it, doctors closely observed her condition, her toe still oozing and bruised. By lunchtime, Perry said, physicians reassured the parents that Oakley would be OK."It was a major comfort for me to realize, OK, we're getting the best care possible," said Perry, who is a health care ethics professor at the business school at Indiana University Bloomington. Less than 24 hours after the bite, Oakley left the hospital with her grateful parents.Then the bills came.  Continue reading...

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