Harold Hill woman suffers allergic reaction after snake bites her in garden

PUBLISHED: 12:00 07 August 2016 | UPDATED: 07:51 09 August 2016

Laura Hockley with the snake bite on her ankle, pictured where she was gardening.

Laura Hockley with the snake bite on her ankle, pictured where she was gardening.


A woman has been left afraid to go into her garden after suffering an allergic reaction to a snake bite that saw her foot balloon.

Laura Hockley, of Tees Drive, Harold Hill, was doing her gardening last week when she felt a sharp pain in her foot and thought she saw a snake slithering away from her.

And Laura still can’t believe what happened.

She said: “It’s the first time I’ve ever done the gardening in my flip flops. Sod’s Law really.

“I’m avoiding the garden at the moment because it’s still a bit overgrown and I think the snake might be nesting out there.”

Despite two trips to Queen’s Hospital in Rom Valley Way, Romford in the next two days, doctors did not believe Laura had been bitten by a snake until her foot began to swell.

She said: “At first I was told there was no way it was a snake bite. On the second day my leg was swelling and they said it was a rat bite or a mechanical injury, and again I was sent home, but I was really starting to worry.

“It was so frustrating I could have cried.”

Eventually on Wednesday Laura’s story was accepted by a doctor she described as a complete professional, and anti-venom was prescribed.

She also received an apology from the doctor who originally misdiagnosed her.

She said: “He had the good grace to apologise, but I want something done about it. People need to be listened to.”

Queen’s Hospital has apologised for the time it took to diagnose.

Medical Director Nadeem Moghal said: “On each visit to our emergency department Ms Hockley was assessed and treated by a doctor. We’re sorry that she wasn’t diagnosed immediately, however snake bites are very rare in the UK and can be difficult to diagnose.

“We’ve no record that she has complained to us about her treatment. We always encourage patients bring any issues to us so we can look into them, which helps us continue to improve our services. We’re pleased Ms Hockley was full of praise for the team who looked after her on her final visit.”

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