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South Florida dad recounts frightful moments after daughter was bitten by water moccasin

South Florida dad recounts frightful moments after daughter was bitten by water moccasin
South Florida dad recounts frightful moments after daughter was bitten by water moccasin 02:54

MIAMI - Two weeks ago, a family get-together turned into a trip to the emergency room for seven-year-old Daniella Cabrera, who was bitten by a water moccasin at a park in Deerfield Beach

She's recovering well and on Friday night, CBS News Miami met this brave little girl, as her parents talked to us about this frightful encounter.

"I don't really go outside as much as I used to go because of snakes and stuff," shared Cabrera. 

  Daniella Cabrera talks about being bitten by a snake. CBS News Miami

With her parents by her side, Cabrera shows us where a snake bit her wrist, at her dad's office in Coral Springs.

"Everyone told me it was a snake, it was a snake, so I believed them," said Cabrera. 

The terrifying scene unfolded at Quiet Waters Park in Deerfield Beach during a game of hide-and-seek at night with family and friends.

"Next thing I hear is crying," said her dad, Michael Cabrera. 

He quickly discovered what happened. 

"I immediately jumped up," recalled Michael. "I'm thinking to myself, what do I do?"

He noticed snake bite marks on his 7-year-old daughter's wrist. After a few deep breaths, he called his wife, Naomi.

"Mommy thought I was joking," said Daniella. 

"He was on the phone with me the entire time," said Naomi. "I thought, what, this is a joke."

Michael took his little girl to the emergency room at Broward Health. He says doctors told him the bite mark resembled a water mocassin bite because of the twin incisors. 

"They put us in the pediatric ICU immediately," added Naomi. "Went there, and they were washing her out with an IV. They said if she would have had a reaction, it would have happened right away."

The brave girl stayed at the hospital overnight. The family told us doctors believed it was a "dry bite," meaning it did not inject venom. 

"So lucky," expressed Naomi. "I can't tell you how lucky she was."

"My most common bite, which is our cottonmouth," also known as a water mocassin, said Lieutenant Christopher Pecori, a paramedic with the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Venom Response Team for the last five years. 

His unit, now in its 25th year in service protecting South Florida, manages Antivenom and regional response.

He shares what to do if you ever encounter and suffer a bite from a venomous snake.

"Slightly elevate it or keep it neutral with your heart; you're gonna get a lot of swelling in that area," said Pecori. 

He says he will help keep swelling down and help reduce recovery time.

"Clean the wound initially," added Pecori. "These reptiles have a lot of bugs in their mouth bacteria."

Most importantly, Lieutenant Pecori tells us if you believe you suffered a venomous snake bite, seek immediate medical attention and call 911.

Michael has advice as well to pass on to parents: "There are snakes and all kinds of wildlife; you have to watch out for yourself."

And what brings out the most smiles these days is daddy-daughter time. 

"You're doing a good job," said Michael, playing a video game in his office with his daughter. 

"But I keep missing all the coins," exclaimed Daniella. 

"Girl power," said Michael. 

"I know girl power," followed Daniella. 

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