Boy, 6, survives 2 venomous snake bites within 8 days, prayed he would survive

An Australian boy has already looked death in the face twice after he was bitten by a venomous snake on two separate occasions within eight days of each other.

Joel Canning, 6, reportedly approached his mom calmly shortly after the first bite occurred seven months ago and asked about heaven, 7 News reported.

“[He] asked me, ‘if you get bitten by a venomous snake in Australia, do you go to heaven?’” Pippa Canning, the boy’s mother, told the news outlet. “I said ‘Yes,’ and then he went down.”

Canning said she and her husband then performed CPR and rushed the boy, who was allegedly struggling to breathe, to a local hospital where he received anti-venom. He was then flown to Perth for further treatment, reported.


Less than eight days later, Canning said her son came close to death again when he was bitten what is believed to be a Western brown snake for a second time. Joel told 7 News that he prayed he would survive the ordeal for a second time.

“I did, I prayed for that and my prayer came true,” he told the news outlet.

Western brown snakes are found largely throughout Australia and while it’s believed to be less aggressive than the Eastern brown snake, it’s still considered highly dangerous, according to Australian Geographic. The species delivers three times as much venom as the Eastern brown snake, but bites are typically difficult to see.

While Canning said her son now suffers from anxiety attacks at school about snakes, she said his emergencies have reinforced their belief in the importance of knowing First Aid.