LAKE ELSINORE ( — The mother of a 22-month-old Lake Elsinore boy thought her son was going to die after he was bitten by a rattlesnake.

“That was the first thought that crossed my mind: my son is going to die,” Christina Laster said.

Laster’s son, Daniel, survived the bite after being treated at Loma Linda University Medical Center.

March is the beginning of rattlesnake season, and doctors have already seen a rise in the number of bite cases.

Daniel and his dad, Mark, are best buddies, KCAL9’s Greg Mills reports. They hang out every day in the family’s garage and work on cars.

Last Friday, a young rattlesnake was waiting for the boy at the garage door and bit the ring finger of his right hand.

“My husband said, ‘Christina, come here quickly! I think Daniel got bit by a rattlesnake.’ And immediately, I panicked,'” said Christina.

The venom traveled quickly and Daniel’s hand and arm started to swell. Within minutes the swelling got to his chest.

Daniel was treated upon arrival at the hospital by snakebite expert Dr. Sean Bush.

“I felt confident that he knew what he was doing,” Christina said.

Bush says he’s seen a rise in rattlesnake bites. In fact, Daniel was the first of four patients he saw during the first six days of March.

Daniel received 22 vials of anti-venom and spent several days in the hospital. He’s doing fine now — except when he saw a USB cable on the living room floor.

“To him, that was [another] rattlesnake,” Christina said. “He would jump and scream and cry about that.”

The Lasters have lots of hills, tall grass and rocks in their yard, which can be the perfect hiding places for snakes.

“We are clearing up a lot of stuff,” Christina said.

Daniel’s father and godfather found the rattlesnake they think may have bitten Daniel. Daniel’s father showed Mills the snake’s carcass on Sunday.


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