Midweek Sport - - GADGET BOY - By NEIL GOOD­WIN

A TOP telly pro­ducer has re­vealed the ag­o­nis­ing de­tails of a snakebite wound that left his flesh rot­ten to the BONE.

Hap­less Brit Steve Rankin was blun­der­ing about in the jun­gles of Costa Rica while re­search­ing lo­ca­tions for new Dis­cov­ery show Naked and Afraid when the rep­tile struck.

Un­for­tu­nately for Steve, 51, the crea­ture that sunk its fangs into his skin was a Fer-De-Lance, one of most venomous snakes in Cen­tral and South Amer­ica.

And af­ter be­ing rushed to hos­pi­tal, it took count­less skin grafts to re­pair the gap­ing hole in his foot.

Wor­ried Steve, who worked with Bear Grylls on his show Man vs Wild, re­vealed: “Bang! It felt like I’d been stabbed in the left foot. I jumped away from the tree and looked back.

“It was right up against the tree. I saw the large, dis­tinct, ar­row-shaped head of a pit viper. I knew it was venomous. My knees im­me­di­ately went to jelly. I was pant­ing like a horse.

“A red stain was spread­ing across the grey fab­ric cov­er­ing my instep. The punc­ture wounds on the top of my foot were bleed­ing freely.”

Steve was lobbed onto a makeshift stretcher by his crew mem­bers and hauled into the back of a van, be­fore even­tu­ally be­ing air­lifted to a hos­pi­tal in San Jose.

He added: “The pain re­ally started to kick in dur­ing the truck ride. I felt ev­ery bump on the dirt road. Waves of sear­ing heat pulsed through my leg while stab­bing pains added more agony.”

But de­spite treat­ment of an­tibi­otics and an­tivenom the bite be­come more and more in­fected, caus­ing his foot to re­sem­ble that of a movie ZOM­BIE.

He said: “I re­mem­ber it felt like ev­ery mus­cle fi­bre in my leg was full of pres­sure and about to ex­plode.

“The flesh in my foot was rot­ting. Nurses put me on a gur­ney. As they wheeled me away, I watched my foot drip a trail of pus and blood onto the hos­pi­tal floor.

“They per­formed an eight-hour op­er­a­tion that in­cluded tak­ing a chunk of flesh from my left thigh and graft­ing it onto my foot.”

For­mer Manch­ester Univer­sity stu­dent Steve is now re­cov­er­ing at his Cal­i­for­nia home fol­low­ing fur­ther treat­ment in LA.

Naked and Afraid sees con­tes­tants stripped and dumped in a danger­ous wilder­ness to fend for them­selves.

ROT NICE: State of Steve’s



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