A West Australian family is grieving after a suspected snake bite claimed the life of a young mother and her unborn child.
Sinita Martin, from Hamilton Hill, was just three weeks away from giving birth to her second child.
She was at her mother Evelyn’s house in the mid-west town of Meekatharra on Monday night when she told relatives she felt unwell.
She called out for help before she began having seizures.
St John’s Ambulance paramedics arrived at the family’s Main Street home at about 8.45pm and performed CPR after the 27-year-old went into cardiac arrest.
Sinita was raced to Meekatharra Hospital, but despite the efforts of paramedics and doctors she died, as did her unborn baby.
The young mother leaves behind a three-year-old son.
A family spokeswoman described Sinita as a “loving mother” who had helped raise her three brothers.
A relative wrote a tribute to the young mother on social media, saying: “My heart breaks for my nephew and his partner … a young mum and her baby taken too soon.”
The most common snakes in WA are king brown and western brown snakes, which are amongst the world’s most deadly.
Doctors and snake experts say snake bites are common in the summer months but deaths were uncommon.
“Early on in a brown snake bite we have had cases of cardiac arrest,” Royal Perth Hospital clinical toxicologist David McCoubrie said.
“They affect your blood stream and the ability for your blood to clot, so we tend to see bleeding complications from brown snake bites.”
Sinita was 31 weeks pregnant and had recently moved from Hamilton Hill to be closer to her family.
Her body will be brought back to Perth for a post-mortem.
That will confirm if it was a snake bite that killed her, but toxicology results could take months.