Ming Xi, a 40-year-old graphic designer from China, has died after taking an unprecedented hit of snake venom. Zhang Hao, the couple’s six-year-old son, also suffocated after getting a feeding of the venom from his mother.
The two were sleeping when the episode occurred early on August 8. The family members were asleep in the living room when Zhang chewed on a poisonous snake skin and then he let his son eat the skin. Neither of them was awake when Ming took a step and her lower back went numb.
“He asked me whether he could shoot an arrow like his big sister,” Ming’s husband told People’s Daily Online. “I assured him that no harm would come.”
“When I woke up at 2am, it felt like a dream,” Ming wrote in a Facebook post.
According to her husband, a large snake slithered into the house as the family was asleep. This would, according to Chinese folklore, be a “woman-swallowing” incident, in which a woman swallows a snake for her husband. But as the poison spread throughout Ming’s body, she was left paralyzed. The couple rushed her to the local hospital where she was placed in the intensive care unit but she could not be saved.
As the couple tried to keep their son’s death from occurring, a friend came to see him. “My son died from the snake bite,” he said, China Daily reported. His son was found to have suffocated to death.
This incident is the first time a Chinese couple has died after becoming trapped by a poisonous snake. The incident remains unsolved, but authorities do not believe that it was a rare event. “It’s not hard to find snakes in the area. They’re everywhere,” an official from the Guiyang City government told People’s Daily Online. “We receive a number of snake-bite calls a month. And we do have to put a lot of resources into fighting the snakes.”
On Saturday, as the Communist Party of China convenes its National Congress, Ming’s family held a memorial service for her. After touching a picture of the deceased, Ming wrote that she was “giving myself to my Lord.” She ended with a question: “Why do snakes eat their food, but they (humans) eat our children?”
Read the full story at People’s Daily Online.
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