REAL LIFE

Race against time after five-year-old bitten by infected bat at the park

It all happened so fast.

Jeff Hollands, 32, Evans Head, NSW

Standing outside preschool, I couldn’t wait to see my boy.

‘Daddy!’ beamed Kobie, five, as he ran to greet me.

‘Do you want to go to the park? I asked.

Kobie loved riding his bike, so I took him to our local park as often as I could. Watching him pedal around with his little friends, I couldn’t help but grin.

Suddenly, I noticed a large bat had flown towards us and was hovering over the group of kids. But before I had time to react, it zoomed down and clung on to Kobie’s leg.

Wrapping its wings around him, the crazed bat sunk it’s teeth into his skin.

Terrified, Kobie let out a gut-wrenching scream as he ran around in circles trying to scare it away.

Racing over to help him, I grabbed hold of the bat and managed to prise it off.

I was shocked to see Kobie had a huge bite mark left on his leg. Pulling him in for a hug, I soothed my crying boy.

My friend, who was also at the park, suggested we have the bat tested for harmful diseases.

fruit bat
Kobie was bitten by a bat.

As he worked with wild animals, he agreed to take care of it while I rushed Kobie to the doctor.

‘We’ll have to order in a special vaccination,’ the GP said, explaining it would take a few days.

Meanwhile, the bat had tested positive for Lyssavirus, a condition closely related to rabies. If left untreated, the virus can result in paralysis, delirium, convulsions and even death.

Thankfully, Kobie’s vaccine was ready the following day.

Back in the doctor’s office, I held his little hand while he sat still for two needles.

‘You’re such a brave boy,’ I smiled.

Since then, Kobie has received five more shots to prevent the disease from entering his system and he’s handled each one like a champion.

Although he’s still wary of unfamiliar animals, nothing could stop him getting back on his bike.

I’m so glad my boy wasn’t more seriously harmed.

More REAL Aussie stories in Issue 10 of that’s life!

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