Curtis Malone

It was the week before Christmas.

And all was not calm in the Malone home in Ball.

Minutes earlier, 3-year-old Curtis Malone had been bitten by a poisonous snake.

“Curtis is 3 and the youngest of four children,” said his mom, Tara Malone. “We have a pond and have always told them, if you see a snake, go the other way.

“My oldest son comes in and says Curtis was bitten by a snake. My daughter, who is 14, carried him in.”

Tara Malone, who is a licensed nurse practioner and nursing professor at LSU Alexandria, quickly examined Curtis.

“Then we took a very quick ride to the hospital,” she said.

Tara Malone brought Curtis to Rapides Regional Medical Center.

Within five minutes he had been taken inside the center. Within 20 minutes, he was receiving two IVs and morphine.

“His foot around the ankle had swelled from the size of a tack to the size of a baseball,” said Tara Malone.

Curtis stayed overnight and was released the next day. His mom praised the quick response of the Trauma Services and Emergency Department team at Rapides Regional.

A few weeks later, Curtis’ dad, Christopher, spotted a water moccasin in nearly the same spot in which Curtis was bitten.

“He took care of that problem,” said Tara Malone.

Malone, who previously worked at Rapides Regional, couldn’t say enough about the treatment and care Curtis received.

“It was such a quick response,” she said. “The people who took care of us didn’t know me.

“I was impressed.”