‘Confronting’: Snake-bite victim’s ‘selfless’ act

‘Confronting’: Snake-bite victim’s ‘selfless’ act

The family of a man who died by snake bite while performing a “selfless” act have spoken out in the wake of his death.

Donny Morrison was bitten multiple times while trying to remove a venomous snake from the ankle of a friend while at Koumala State School south of Mackay in central Queensland on Saturday night.

The incident took place in front of his family and dozens of other shocked residents who had gathered at the school for its 100th anniversary.

The 69-year-old could not be revived at the scene after going into cardiac arrest despite the “heroic” efforts of bystanders and paramedics.

His family said Mr Morrison was a “well-liked member of the Koumala community and will be missed by many”.

“We would like to thank everyone involved with the incident involving Donny. People pulled together in an attempt to resuscitate Don but unfortunately were not successful,” Mr Morrison’s family said in a statement.

“If you were involved directly in the emergency response, please feel free to get in touch and also please seek help if you feel you need to talk through the events that transpired, as it was a confronting situation for all.

“We are sorry that the incident led to the event being shut down early.

They also said Mr Morrison “especially” enjoyed the event before his death, as he was “really happy to have caught up with so many old friends”.

Bystanders and paramedics spent more than half an hour trying to revive him.

Queensland Ambulance Service acting deputy commissioner for operations south Claire Bertenshaw said paramedics were en route with antivenom when the man “tragically” died.

“There was a rapid call for an ambulance and bystanders performed CPR immediately as the man collapsed post the snake bite,” she said.

“Despite heroic measures from both the bystanders and the Queensland Ambulance Service he was unfortunately unable to be revived.”

Ms Bertenshaw said the snake was “most likely” a brown snake due to the man’s symptoms, but it was “hard to say with any type of certainty”.

His friend was also bitten by the snake but is believed to be “doing well” in Mackay Hospital.

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