16 July 2008


A Darwin man told how his left arm was amputated after being bitten nine times by a deadly snake.

Gordon Lyons said he almost died after his heart stopped three times on the operating table at Royal Darwin Hospital.

He spent seven weeks in a coma and was kept alive with a dialysis machine and ventilator after a king brown bit his left arm.

Mr Lyons who has still not regained movement in his legs, said doctors revived him three times on the operating table.

Admitting he was drunk at the time he was bitten 'I remembered the guys at the Mandorah Pub wanted something to put in their huge fish tank'. He and a mate had been driving from Mandorah to Darwin where they saw the snake on the side of the road. Thinking the snake to be a python (when in fact it was a King Brown -considered to be one of the most venomous in Australia). "I made the stupid mistake of grabbing it with my left hand because I was holding a beer in my right one. I had its head in my hand but it got loose and grabbed the web of my left hand...its fangs were that big it ripped my hand open. I tore it off me and put it in a plastic bag and threw it on the back of the car.

"For some stupid reason, I stuck my hand back in the bag, and it must have smelled blood, and it bit me another eight times."

Mr Lyons said his mate was trying to keep him awake by whacking him in the head and pouring beer on him. His last memory was passing out, covered in blood, at the Noonamah Hotel moments before being taken by ambulance to the Royal Darwin Hospital.

Bart Currie, Physician, said the venom had caused severe damage to Mr Lyons' muscles, which led to his left arm turning black and becoming "dead".

Mr Currie said "of all the snake bites in Australia I"m aware of , this man is the sickest to have ever survived.


  1. Yup...the man definitely deserves a Darwin Award for that. lol I guess it isn't really funny. Only by dumb luck - and I mean Dumb with a capital D - did he survive at all.

  2. I have to wonder if the snake bit off more than it could chew .. nine times lol

    Only a drunk could place their hand in a sack containing an angry snake

  3. I assume the snake was only trying to defend itself and that the 9 bites comes from the fool not taking his hand out of the bag. If he had, maybe it would have only been 3 bites instead; still enough to be lethal, but still less venom to deal with.