Better Solutions for Healthcare

WZTV: Sumner County man’s summer fishing trip & snake bite leads to $42,800 medical chopper bill

By  Erika Glover

April 8, 2021

A summer fishing trip is costing one Sumner county man thousands of dollars in medical bills, but it’s not from his hospital visit.

John Brown says his ordeal started when a Copperhead snake, hiding under a boat cover, bit his ankle on Dale Hollow lake. Fearing for his life, Brown called 911.

He resisted Air Evac and instead wanted to be transported by ambulance, however he says Air Evac’s EMTs insisted he receive antivenom right away.

“The told me that I could loose my leg or possibly lose my life,” Brown exclaimed.

He reluctantly signed the documents to be rushed via helicopter, only to later be told by physicians that the snake bite was non-life threatening.

“They didn’t check my vitals. They didn’t get me any IVs. They didn’t do anything during the flight,” Brown said. “The emergency room doctor said the shot was more deadly than the snake bite, so they waited four hours before they started giving me any antivenom.”

Four hours that Brown believes could have been spent driving him to the hospital, potentially saving him big bucks. He explained how a less than 20 minute helicopter ride landed him with a $42,806 bill for a less than 20 minute flight from Celina to the Cookeville Regional Medical Center.

“Insurance covered $6,000. They billed me for $36,406 dollars,” Brown said,