An Arizona man nearly lost his life after being bitten by a rattlesnake which he had caught and was planning to grill on a barbeque during the birthday celebration of his son, reports said.

Victor Pratt, 48, from Coolidge was having a party for his son's birthday on Sept. 7 when the rattlesnake showed up in his yard.

Pratt said he grew up playing with reptiles and was catching snakes successfully since he was 8 years old and thought he could handle the reptile when it appeared, CBS News reported.

He also told the Washington Post that he was bitten by a snake once at the age of 19 years, but that didn't deter him from grabbing the venomous reptile as he said “I was showing off. Like I always do.”

"When the kids saw it, I grabbed it. I showed them how to catch it and I was playing with it like little kids do. This is how you play with a snake. I wasn't thinking,” he added.

Pratt paid a price for his unthinking act when he was bitten twice by the snake, on his chest and face.

"I saw him bleeding down," Pratt's son, Samuel, told KPHO-TV. "He had it in his hand by the time I turned my head."

Pratt was immediately taken to a nearby hospital, and later air-lifted to Banner University Medical Center in Phoenix, 60 miles away.

"I know it takes eight seconds for the venom to go through your body, so I went to the nearest hospital and I concentrated on my mind, and just kept my mind strong, stay focused," Pratt said.

Dr. Steven Curry, who took care of Pratt while he was in ICU at the center, said the consequences could have been different if Pratt had waited longer to seek proper medical attention after being bitten, USA Today reported.

"When patients experience face bites with injection of venom, as in this case, our experience is that if an airway is not established in the first few minutes, it usually takes 15 to 30 minutes at the most that patients don't have much of a chance to survive," Curry said.

"If they can get their airway established, they're very lucky," Curry said. "That is, you're lucky to have been bitten and been able to make it to the hospital in just a few minutes in order to have those emergency procedures done that are needed to save your life," he added.

Rattlesnake venom is considered to be toxic and can lead to swelling, paralysis and numbness at the point of the bite, causing damage to the tissue.

It can also cause a person’s airwaves to swell which can lead to blocking of air, that can cause internal bleeding, Dr. Curry said.

He added that seeking medical assistance as soon as possible is necessary. "First-aid measures such as tourniquets, ice, incisions or taking the time to apply suctions ... are dangerous and harmful," he said. "Or completely ineffective, as in the case of suction."

Pratt told New York Daily News that he was done playing with venomous and dangerous reptiles. "Ain't gonna play with snakes no more," he said.

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