Durban - Six year old Mikayla Grove who was bitten by a venomous cobra last month has recovered and is attending school all within three weeks of the incident.
Mikayla’s parents said their daughter was glad to be going to what she calls “big” school.
The parents hailed doctors who helped their daughter.
Their daughter seemed to understand what she went through and was also happy that the snake that bit her was not killed and released back into the wild.
Recalling events, Mikayla’s father, Ludwig Grove said: “It was a warm Sunday evening in mid-January when my wife, Inge, and I had put the children to bed
when suddenly, around 8pm, we heard a scream coming from the bedroom shared by our daughters.”
Thinking one of them was having a nightmare Mikayla’s mother, Inge went to the bedroom to investigate.
She opened the door and did not switch on the light. A Mozambique spitting cobra had made its way into their daughters room and bit Mikayla on the cheek.
The snake also sprayed the venom into the eyes of Inge. “My wife grabbed Mikayla and rushed to the bathroom next to the girls’ bedroom. Mikayla’s big sister
Bella got out of bed and switched on the light just as I came to the room and saw the snake lying on Mikayla’s pillow. Thank goodness they all made it out of the room without more attacks by the snake,” Ludwig said. It was at this time that he noticed the bite marks on his daughters face.
They rushed their daughter to Netcare Alberlito Hospital in Ballito where doctors treated and gave her antivenom.
Dr Bianca Visser, who was one of the team of doctors who treated Mikayla was off duty but rushed to the hospital to treat the toddler.
“Treating a venomous snakebite is highly complex...Mikayla’s condition was initially critical. She was agitated, vomiting, her face was swollen and there was
imminent risk of her airway becoming obstructed. Mikayla was intubated and her airway was secured while the emergency department team started premedication with steroids and adrenaline to prepare her body to receive the antivenom,” Visser said.
A number of doctors monitored and treated her overnight.
After about four days she was released into the paediatric ward. It was found there was still an infection in the soft tissue of her face and neck. .
Dr Trishan Pillay, who is a plastic and reconstructive surgeon said the infection was beneath the skin, under her chin and around one of her shoulder. Doctors cleaned out her infection but there was loss of fatty tissue and a hole on her cheek.
“We created a small tissue flap from under her chin to close the skin, and removed the surgical drain that had been put in place to help clear the affected area...In a few months’ time we will need to transfer some fat to replace the lost fatty tissue, which gives structure and volume to the face,” Pillay said.
He said he was happy that a recovering Mikayla greeted him with a big smile in follow-up appointments.