14-year-old Rotem Riani was walking on Tuesday night towards Tel Aviv's port with a friend when the two found a snake on the city's Tel Baruch beach.
"I saw the snake and I wanted to move him aside, so he wouldn't hurt anyone," Riani said. "My mistake was that I tried to pick it up with my hand. The bite I receive in return was one I'll never forget."
The snake which bit Riani turned out to be a poisonous viper. Riani's hand swelled up, and he was taken to Ichilov Hospital's pediatric emergency room late on Tuesday night.
Expert pediatrician Dr. Migal Geltstein, who recently studied poison treatment in the United States, was called from his home to treat Riani. Upon Dr. Geltstein's arrival, Riani was transferred to the ICU, where he began to receive anti-poison treatment.
On Wednesday morning, after Riani recovered and just before he went home, he warned the other patients, "Don't touch a snake with your bare hands. I almost paid with my life. Thank you, Dr. Migal, for coming so fast and saving me."