After a Virginia toddler was bitten by a copperhead snake in his backyard last week, he was rushed to the hospital for life-saving medication -- but now his parents are facing tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills.
Sixteen-month-old Auden Mantzoros-Kemp was bitten June 16 while playing outside with his mother, Kayleigh Kemp, at their home in Stafford County, Inside Nova reported.
Now his loved ones are sharing their story and hoping for help in paying for the boy's anti-venom treatments.
Kemp said she was about a foot away from Auden when he attempted to step over a brick and then flinched.
"I thought that he had scratched his foot on something," Kemp said. "And when I picked him up, I went to see what he scratched his foot on and I didn't see anything there."
But after they went inside, Kemp realized Auden's foot had swelled and was bleeding. She rushed him to the emergency room, where doctors confirmed Auden had suffered a bite from a copperhead snake.
A Go Fund Me page says the bite caused "severe swelling" and "extreme pain." The little boy's aunt, Katie Marie Mantzoros, set up the page to help Auden's parents pay thousands of dollars in medical bills.
At Inova Fairfax, Auden endured 16 vials of anti-venom treatment at $3,000 each -- costing close to $50,000. That sum doesn't include his emergency room visit, medical transfer between hospitals and the three days he spent in the intensive care unit because of an allergic reaction to the treatments.
The family doesn't have medical insurance.
"The last thing I want my sister to be worrying about is paying for medical bills," Mantzoros wrote on the page, adding that she wants Auden's parents to be able to focus on his recovery.
The page had raised more than $5,000 of the family's $40,000 goal as of Friday.
"Regardless of how much debt we would've been in afterwards, we obviously just wanted him to be OK," Kemp said.