Boy survives two deadly snake bites
EIGHT days after Joel Canning was learning how to be a normal six-year-old again after surviving a brown snake bite, the West Australian boy was struck again.
Joel had been walking on a street near his Wongan Hills home around two hours north of Perth when he was struck by a Western brown snake.
Slowly jogging back to his house and repeating to himself "I'm not gonna die, I'm not gonna die", he calmly grabbed the attention of his mum Pippa.
Asking her, "If you get bitten by a venomous snake in Australia, do you go to heaven?"
When she told him "Yes", Joel collapsed.
"He wasn't breathing, and I knew I had to just breathe for him," Ms Canning told 7 News.
"Somehow I got the strength to pick him up (and) walk through the house with him while he was convulsing.
"His eyes were rolling back. He was hissing and I knew he wasn't getting enough oxygen.
"So, every third step I stopped and did rescue breaths before being able to get him in the back seat of the car."
Joel knew he had to try and stay calm to stop his heart from pumping the venom around his body faster but by the time the family arrived at Wongan Hills Hospital, the six-year-old wasn't in a good state.
Despite being given the antivenom at Wongan Hills Hospital, Joel was flown to Perth where he made a full recovery.
But then, eight days later, the Cannings were left reeling after their brave boy was struck again on the opposite foot.
"He was losing the ability to move, to talk properly," Ms Canning said.
Despite going through the harrowing ordeal a week before, Joel knew he'd pull through again.
"I thought I was going to survive again because the first time I did, I prayed for that and my prayer came true," he told 7 News.
It's believed the antivenom Joel had in his system from the first bite helped him to survive the second bite.
Seven months after the two bites, Joel's physical health is in order but the six-year-old suffers from anxiety and is terrified he'll get bitten again.
"They've (anxiety attacks) been happening at school now," Ms Canning said.
"So, when he did cross country because of his heart pounding and they're running through the bush he thought it was the venom again."
While Western brown snakes are typically less aggressive than their Eastern cousins, the Eastern brown snake, their venom is still deadly.
While their venom is not as toxic as Eastern browns, they deliver three times as much.