Government, Healthcare, State Government

Skaff still recovering in hospital following multiple snake bites

CHARLESTON — Former West Virginia Delegate and candidate for Secretary of State this year Doug Skaff is trying to stay comfortable at CAMC while he continues his recovery from a few snake bites.

“I’m hanging in there, I’m still in the hospital,” he said from his hospital bed Tuesday while as a guest on MetroNews “Talkline.”

Skaff was bitten a total of four times last week while picking up campaign signs in Boone County. He was with his 7-year-old son along U.S. Route 119 near Danville on Wednesday. Two copperhead snakes were in the area, a larger one and a smaller one.

Three of the bites came on the ankle of his left leg while the other was on the small toe of his right foot. He says his right leg is almost back to full strength and the swelling on his left leg is starting to go down.

“The venom stopped spreading a couple of days ago, however I did get an infection on my left ankle, one of the bites got infected,” he said.

Skaff says he feels better than he did last week, but there’s still a lot of pain with most of it rushing to that bite on his left calf. He described the pain as a “throbbing sensation” and similar to being stabbed with a fork. Any attempt to stand up and move around is interrupted with a spike in pain.

“I can’t stand up for more than seven or eight seconds,” Skaff said. “Everything rushes to that bite site and then I get a little dizzy and lightheaded.” Skaff said the medical professionals at CAMC believe the smaller snake of the two likely gave him the most venom. Skaff remembers that snake getting a hold of his left leg and not wanting to let go.

“The small one was clinging on for dear life and I had to shake him lose,” said Skaff.

Skaff is still taking antibiotics but is no longer taking anti-venom medicine. Feeling in his right leg and right foot has returned but there’s still work to do on his left leg. “I just got to do rehab, do some therapy, I got to try and get my strength back because it attacked the muscles and tissue and weakened it,” said Skaff.

An estimated full recovery could take anywhere from one month to two months based on others who have been bitten by snakes too and have reached out to Skaff. He said he’s received messages from people all across the country who have shared their snake bite experiences as well as offered their support.

“Thanks to all the prayers and well wishes,” Skaff said. “I’ve had some great staff here too.” Doctors are giving Skaff medicine and taking blood samples about every three hours.