EL DORADO COUNTY, Calif. (KXTV) - A bride's worst nightmare came true when she was forced to miss the most important day of her life.
But instead of walking down the aisle, Macee found herself stuck in the hospital on her wedding day.
"I didn't think I was going to make it. A couple times, I cried my eyes out," Macee Whitton recalled.
A week before the big day, Macee stepped out of the couple's Pilot Hill home to let her dogs out. When she went back inside shortly after, she encountered a six foot rattle snake.
Before she could react, the snake bit her on the ankle. "My heart started racing, my leg got really swollen. I couldn't move my leg," Macee said. She called 911 and was flown to Sutter Roseville Medical Center via a helicopter
"They said she got a really bad dose of venom, the fang marks were [wide]," Justin Whitton said.
Justin stood by Macee's hospital bed, hoping she would pull through.
She was given bags of anti-venom but the poison kept traveling up her body.
"It was one of the worst things we ever had to experience. There was a few times when I got rushed out of the ER, I was wondering if I was going to come back in to my wife being there or not," Justin said .
"I really thought I was going to make it, I even said I would go down the aisle in a wheelchair, but I didn't make it," Macee said.
The soon-to-be bride missed out on the biggest day of her life as she clung on to keep her own. Macee eventually recovered several weeks later.
She now she has a warning for people who live in areas prone to rattle snakes - especially as the days get warmer.
"If you live out in the country, don't ever let your guard down, that's what happened to me," she said.
Since the incident, Justin and Macee have taken steps to keep rattlesnakes off their property, such as using rattle snake repellent and having more animals to spook the reptiles.
As for their wedding, the couple was legally married but had to postpone the ceremony. They are planning to have their "dream wedding" ceremony in May.
According to the California Poison Control Center, most bites occur between April and October when snakes and humans are most active outdoors.