Aug 13, 2010 6:38 PM by David Ortiviz

Woman still suffering a year after rattle snake bite

A woman in Pueblo West is facing mounting medical bills and a terrifying health situation nearly a year after being bitten by a rattle snake. Rebecca Armstrong's pain and wounds are still so severe doctors may have to amputate her arm.

"I never saw, I never heard anything, I felt something horrible bite me," said Armstrong. Back in September 2009, Armstrong was picking up garbage on a horse rescue ranch when the rattle snake attacked. She reached into some weeds and the snake bit her in the arm.

"It was extremely painful at the time that it happened." said Armstrong. "It was burning and it swelled rapidly," she added. Armstrong has to keep her entire arm wrapped in medical gauze to keep the swelling down, but she continues to loose arm muscle and tissue.

"You know I know that that's a possibility--that it could be amputated--by what they're able to find and what they're able to save," said Armstrong.

The past few years haven't been easy for this wife and mother of eight, including five adopted children. Before the rattlesnake bite, Armstrong battled MRSA a staph infection, for three years. "I had started to feel better and heal from the MRSA and that's when I got bit by the rattlesnake," said Armstrong. "So we've got medical bills from years and years that have piled up and still I have an arm that's not fixed."

"And she has $600 a week just in co-pays and that's not covering--is the insurance going to cover everything?," said Scott Fanning a firefighter and EMT in Pueblo West.

Fanning and the Pueblo West Firefighters' Association wanted to help. They're hosting a pancake fundraiser on Sunday, Aug 15. to help Rebecca and her family--who despite their hardships, remain altruistic at heart.

"We give, we serve, we do everything to make others happy and that's one of our biggest motto's," said Armstrong. "The cashiers we see or whoever we meet we hand a flower to, and it's a amazing the effect that things like that make on people," she added.

"They don't bat an eye, they'll give whatever they have to anybody and it's fair time we turn around and help them," said Fanning.

Soon Rebecca will travel to Denver, to see if doctors can save her arm. She's grateful for all the support here at home. "I am very grateful, very humbled, very thankful, I wish I could do the same right now, but there will be a time. What comes around goes around," said Armstrong.

The pancake breakfast fundraiser will be held Sunday Aug. 15 from 8 a.m. to Noon at Fire Station 1, located on the corner of Hans Peak and Joe Martinez Blvd. in Pueblo West. Organizers are asking for a minimum donation of $5 a person.

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