A particularly nasty viper snake bit a Rehovot kindergarten assistant four times on the sole of her left foot last Thursday. She was rushed to Kaplan Medical Center, where doctors saved her life over several days in the intensive care unit, the hospital said on Wednesday.

The 58-year-old woman, Riki, said it was “a miracle.” Although she wants to open the kindergarten next week, she said she would be unable to because she still needs to recuperate. She was walking with open shoes on an asphalt path on the way to visit mourners on Thursday evening when the snake bit her on her foot and wriggled away.

She screamed, and all the neighbors came to help her as her face and lips immediately swelled up. Suffering four bites from a single snake is very rare, said Kaplan doctors who fought for her life against the large amount of toxin.

Dr. Gennady Bergman of Kaplan’s intensive care unit said Riki arrived in very serious condition ; her blood pressure fell and she had severe respiratory problems that endangered her life. She had to be intubated and was given anti-toxin and intravenous fluids. She is now conscious and recovering. Bergman said he and his staff have seen a number of serious snakebite cases this summer. He recommended against going in long grasses, and that those going in open areas should wear closed shoes and long trousers.

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