CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Zach Szala was bitten by a poisonous timber rattler when he jumped from a log off the path at Wannamaker Park last November.
Zach was kept alive by paramedics while he was rushed to MUSC. After more than five weeks in the hospital, the 8 year old had to relearn how to walk, talk even blink his eyes.
Doctor visits have become a part of life for Zach Szala as shown on home movies shot by his mother, Elizabeth Szala. On a recent visit, he's seeing the ear, nose, throat and eye doctor. Zach wears sunglasses to protect his eyes due to his pupils being dilated because of the effects of the snake bite and until recently he could not blink.
During his long recovery, the community embraced Zach and his family. He was honored at a Stingrays' hockey game where a benefit helped raise money for his medical bills. Zach even rode in a limo to a motorcycle rally to help him and his family.
But it's not all fun. Zach's little muscles are gradually relearning how to help his body jump and play. He spends many hours of recovery and therapy at home.
He's worked up to five days of school but only a couple hours a day. It's the little things, like moving crayons and markers across the page, that are victories for he and his family.
Zach's mother says she doesn't want him to live in fear or be afraid of snakes and hopes some day he will be willing to go to the park and play.