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Woman braves 80 snake bites

By Aditi Chengappa     Jul 21, 2008 in World
Eighty snake bites? Sounds absurd? For this lady, snake bites are second nature. The locals are convinced that she was a snake in a previous birth.
In Shimla, a lovely hill station in the state of Himachal Pradesh, India, fifty-six year old Satya Devi braves the day to tell her story.
In the past 28 years, that is virtually half her life, Satya Devi has been bitten a shocking eighty times by various snakes.
She told the local press," I was 28 years old when a snake first bit me. I was working in the fields when suddenly, from nowhere, a snake wrapped itself around my arm and bit me."
Leave superstition and religion, even doctors in her district Solan, are unable to comprehend such a snake following and such a case has never been reported before.
"Medical Science has no mention of such cases. I have no idea why she attracts snakes in such a large number", says Dr Bhupender Bhardwaj, a retired senior medical officer.
The sad truth is that while Satya's story might be a topic of fascination for you and me, she is dying a slow death with the effect of the accumulated poison. She is in need of immediate medical help, however her family cannot afford such treatment. Luckily, State health and family welfare minister Dr Rajeev Bindal assured all possible help free of cost for her.
Meanwhile Devi recounts the chilling histories of her snake bites, she says," I do not remember the exact count, but i have been bitten by around 80 snakes. They have been black, brown, and green. I was even bitten while i was sleeping at my home. My children, too, were sleeping with me. But none of them- and indeed, no one else in my family - has ever been touched. Snakes just seem to follow me and bite me whenever they like."
During the last four years, Devi seemed to have been given a break and she thought that her karma had finally ended, but unfortunately , on July 2 a green viper spotted her and dug its fangs into her right foot.
Condemned to bed rest she said, " I have been in bed for 18 days now. I am not able to lift my legs and can walk only with the help of my family members. I feel like vomiting every alternate minute. I cannot even speak properly."
Satya Devi's story is unique and probably would make a record in terms of most snake bites survived, but for now we can only hope for a successful treatment for this tormented lady.
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