West Alabama man fighting for his life after a near lethal snake bite

Published: May. 8, 2018 at 6:21 PM CDT
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Jeffrey Phillips was standing in his front yard when the unthinkable happened.

“I was at home. My older son called and told me to get ready and that he was on his way to pick me up and take me to the hospital,” said Judy Kell, mother of Phillips.

Phillips walked outside his Gilbertown home after his kids found a multi-colored reptile. Philips, whose older brother is a past snake owner, wanted to catch the snake as a gift. What he thought was harmless turned out to be the second-deadliest snake in the country.

“Jeff went to pick it up and told him he didn’t really need to pick it up but he did and he actually was holding it and he let the children touch the snake. Not knowing that it was a coral snake, he thought it was just a king snake,” said Phillips.

The coral snake bit Phillips leaving his body completely paralyzed. He was rushed to Anderson Hospital where antivenin was flown in to save his life.

“He was about to start a job actually in a couple of weeks. So, he was laid off for the time being. He was about to start a job but he can’t do that now,” said Angela Patrick, Phillip’s fiancé.

The new job and a wedding scheduled for August are now on hold. The family hopes its story will save somebody's life and stop people thinking about engaging a snake.

“I think shock. I’ve had my breakdowns, you know trying to hold it together. It’s scary knowing that my son could die,” said Kell.

The family now wonders if his life will ever return to normal.

“We still don’t know yet. They’re still running different tests and he hopefully will regain some of his use. We just really don’t know. He’s going to have to learn how to walk, dress himself, eat, and brush his teeth and everything,” said Kell.

“I hate that it was him, I really do. I wouldn’t wish it on anybody, but if it had been one of my kids then they wouldn’t be here,” said Patrick.

A GoFundMe is set up to help assist the family. It is attached in the article. An account as well is set up at Regions Bank. If you would like to donate, just mention the names Judy Kell, Anglea Patrick or Jeffrey Phillips.