SARASOTA, Fla. (WSVN) – A Florida woman had to celebrate her birthday in the intensive care unit after a rattlesnake bit her while out on a hike.

Now her boyfriend is speaking out about her recovery and warns others to be cautious when enjoying nature.

“May 24th was her 21st birthday,” said Derrick Hunter. “Unfortunately, she had to spend it in the [intensive care unit].”

A few weeks ago those weren’t the plans that Hunter and his girlfriend, Sierra Lynn, had for celebrating her birthday.

But they’re celebrating that she lived to see 21.

“We didn’t think she was going to be back around on Saturday, the day after, but she’s a warrior and she fought through, and absolute miracles happen,” continued Hunter.

Lynn was walking through the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park near Sarasota when a snake bit her on the leg. She believes it was an eastern diamondback rattlesnake.

Emergency officials arrived at the trail, then rushed her into an ambulance and airlifted her to Sarasota Memorial Hospital.

“I’ll never forget, after they grab the whole family and told us all to come in, basically to come see her, kind of in a way where you know where it was to come say our goodbyes,” said Hunter

Fortunately, Lynn survived. She now hopes her story will warn others about staying cautious on Florida trails.

“Alligators and sharks are not the only dangerous things here in Florida. There are several venomous snakes and spiders out here,” said Hunter.

Hunter recommends taking a walking stick to scare any snakes on outdoor paths and for hikers to also to be cautious before they take their next step.

“So step on the log and not over the log, so that’s a big one,” he said. “If you’re able to step on that log, you’re going to startle that snake and, you know, have less chance of it biting you.”

Sierra Lynn remains in the ICU. It is still unknown whether or not her leg will need to be amputated.

Copyright 2023 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Join our Newsletter for the latest news right to your inbox