Local News

Man Must Pay $30K After Taking Helicopter Flight for a Rattlesnake Bite

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Rattlesnake bites are terrifying enough without having a massive medical bill following it up. Hugh Sparks from Plano was with his son along Highway 380 watching and taking photos as several snakes slithered across the road. Since Sparks was interested in the creatures, he got too close for comfort and one struck, biting him between his thumb and first finger.

Sparks’s son drove him to the nearest hospital in Haskell while his arm and hand began to swell. Doctors there gave him anti-venom but said he would need to be immediately transported to a hospital 50 miles away. Sparks told WFAA that they said ground transport wasn’t an option and whisked him away in a helicopter without his consent, knowing that it would be too expensive.

Through it all, Sparks lived and didn’t require amputation as doctors originally thought. But, he was shocked when he received the medical bill in the mail. “This slow, boiling anger…That was actually more traumatic than when I realized I was bitten by a rattlesnake,” he told WFAA. Chron.com says the bill was for“ $43,514, of which his insurance company Blue Cross Blue Shield would only cover $13,827.”

The AirMedCare Network responded saying that people should get yearly household memberships for $65 to save on flights that their insurance might not cover. Sparks plans to keep fighting against the astronomical costs.