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Arizona man played with a rattlesnake, got bit in the face

A bite to the face, which isn't so uncommon, can stop your breathing.

PHOENIX - Victor Pratt has been in the hospital since Sept. 1 after a rattle snake bit him in the face.

Two weeks later, and the wound is still difficult to look at.

"It makes your brain smash," Pratt said, trying to describe what the pain felt like.

He was able to keep his cool enough to pry the snake's jaw off him and get to a hospital in Coolidge, where the incident happened.

Medics later flew him to Banner University Medical Center's toxicology department in Phoenix by helicopter to get vials of anti-venom.

But it was nothing new for Pratt.

"I probably had to be 19. I remember it getting stuck [on my hand]," he said, explaining the last time he was bit by a rattlesnake – also in Coolidge where he grew up.

He said he used to play with snakes as kid to entertain himself and has since learned to cook them.

"Cut the heads off and stuff, and they taste like chicken. Actually it's not bad," said Pratt.

But he's not questioning if it's worth the risk that your dinner may bite back.

Steven Curry, MD told 12 News the rate of rattlesnake bite deaths in Arizona is the highest with up to 300 bites per year.

A bite to the face, which isn't so uncommon, can stop your breathing.

"These patients commonly will have a completely obstructed airway and be unable to breathe in just a few minutes," said Curry, because the venom causes rapid swelling.

His advice is to stay as far away from rattlesnakes as possible.

In the case of a bite, call 911 or get to a hospital immediately.

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