Rachel Myrick, of Fredericksburg, Va., was walking through the foyer of a LongHorn Steakhouse in Spotsylvania County earlier this month when she felt a sharp pain in her left foot, according to local media.
Her first thought was that she’d been stung by a bee or a hornet, she told the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star.
She tried to brush it off and keep going, she told the paper, but felt such a sharp pain she dropped her cellphone and her wallet.
“I had my fingers under my foot and that’s when I felt something moving,” Myrick, a real-estate agent, told the newspaper.
Myrick had been bitten twice on her toes and once on the side of her foot by a roughly 8-inch-long copperhead. The bites left her in hospital for 11 days.
“I freaked out,” said Myrick, who recalled yelling, “I got bit! I got bit!”
“It hit the floor between my son, Dylan, and my boyfriend, Mike. Both of them instantaneously stepped on it, stepped on its head and killed it right in that foyer area,” Myrick told Washington, D.C., radio station WTOP.
After the snake was dead, emergency services were called and Myrick was taken to hospital, where she stayed until Sunday. She was given anti-venom shots and other treatments to reduce the swelling, which spread up to the top of her leg.
Myrick had gone to the restaurant Sept. 12 with her 13-year-old son, Dylan, boyfriend Michael Clem and other friends and family to mark Clem’s return from Afghanistan.
She told WTOP that after-effects have severely limited her mobility and that she is still in considerable pain.
“I’m unable to do anything normal in my day-to-day life,” she said. “My entire life is upside down at this point.”
Myrick told the Free Lance-Star that doctors had said that it will probably take her at least three months to recover. Meanwhile, she’s using crutches to avoid putting pressure on her foot.
“It’s painful just to ride in the car,” she told the paper. “There’s very little that I can do. I can’t work. I can’t take my kids anywhere. Even phone calls are very difficult because I’m medicated. I can chat, but I can’t negotiate a contract on someone’s behalf.”
LongHorn spokesman Hunter Robinson told the Free Lance-Star that the bite “was a highly unusual incident.
“We are working with our facilities team to see how this may have occurred and we are taking steps to prevent it from happening again,” he added.