TODAY   |  August 11, 2013

Snake bite victim hit with $55,000 hospital bill

“I’m going to go buy a lottery ticket and a cheap bottle of wine,” said Jules Weiss, who at first thought she was stung by a bee when she was bitten by a snake. After a trip to the emergency room, she got another shock altogether. TODAY’s Jenna Wolfe reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> a woman who really got hit with a double whammy when she was out for a drive and decided to get a little fresh drive. jenna wolfe is here to explain. this is a crazy one.

>> this one stings. it's a two-start sting. here is the deal. a maryland woman got too close for comfort with a poisonous snake . that's not even what's bothering her the most today. they terrify harrison ford or indiana jones in " raiders of the lost ark ."

>> snakes? why does it have to be snakes?

>> more recently it was snakes on a plane that crashed in on our worst fears. and now a maryland woman is really feeling the pain. first, jules white thought she was stung by a bee along a dk d.c.-area highway.

>> i started walking back to my car and only made it about a step, so it was right about here, and i felt what felt just like a bee sting .

>> but it wasn't a sting from a bee. instead it was a bite from a copperhead snake that caused her foot to balloon in epic proportions .

>> there were two fang marks with a little bit of liquid coming out.

>> little did she know the real pain hadn't even started yet. after getting treatment the hospital sent her an eye popping bill for nearly $55,000.

>> my insurance had just expired, they said i was ten days too late to get it rhett troe actively added.

>> the anti-venom can cost $40,000. but how does that compare to other medical treatments? dealing with heart failure would cost about $38,000. kidney failure more than $40,000. or replacing your lower joints more than $50,000. all still less expensive than treating a snake bite . weiss says she hopes the hospital will reconsider.

>> everyone is hoping the hospital will work with me. it's not a number i can work around.

>> meanwhile she is keeping a pos it tiff attitude and certainly watching where she steps.

>> i will buy a lottery ticket and a cheap bottle of wine.

>> so jules weiss says while she does regret going to the hospital there was also the chance if she had waited she could have faced kidney failure as a result of the venom going through her body.

>> what's your choice there?

>> you don't have a choice.