A man in Florida, who had Alzheimer's, died of a snake bite after his family ordered doctors not to give him anti-venom so he could "die with dignity."
Richard Flora, 76, was outside his daughter's home in Hobe Sound when an Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake bit him. It is believed he was trying to kill the snake as they found a brick next to him.
"We knew something was not right. He was having all the symptoms…a rapid heart rate, sweating and vomiting," his daughter Ellen Wilson said.
They rushed him to Jupiter Medical Center. Doctors asked the family if they should save him by giving him anti-venom. The family had signed a "do not resuscitate" order for him earlier in the week.
Ellen called her sisters and discussed the anti-venom with them, wondering if they should let him die of a snake bite instead of Alzheimer's. He was in the late stages of the disease and did not want to die of it.
"The doctor said we can't give him the anti-venom unless the family wants us to do that. So we had a huge decision to make," Ellen said.
"If we asked him…would you rather die from Alzheimer's…which he hated…or would you rather die from a snake bite…I guarantee my father would have chosen the snake bite."
One sister, Brenda Wetherald, said they shouldn't let him die of a snake bite.
But then she decided it was best.
"But my husband and I prayed about it and thought, 'why do we want to keep him here? He will now go to heaven,'" she said.
Flora died 11 hours after he was bitten.
"We prayed about it and felt like God let this happen so my father could die with dignity," Ellen said.