Man makes sacrifice for grandson and takes rattlesnake bite

CALLAHAN, Florida -- A Florida grandfather is being hailed as a hero by his family.

They say he sacrificed himself on Father's Day by jumping between a venomous pygmy rattlesnake and his 3-year-old grandson.

WJXT-TV reports 43-year old Thatcher Nightingale was bitten on his finger.

The venom traveled from his finger to his arm, attacking his nervous system and causing excruciating pain in his chest.

Pygmy rattlesnakes are small venomous pit vipers that grow between 15 and 24 inches long.

They have small fangs and can deliver venom potent enough to damage body tissue, and in some cases cause death.

Immediately after the snake bit Nightingale, his son managed to kill the snake, bag it and take it to the hospital so that doctors knew what they were dealing with.

Nightingale's son says his father is alert but still being monitored in ICU.

He says doctors expect him to make a full recovery.