Tom Woodrow

Graphic: Tom Woodrow

#83 Tom collapsed onto his steering wheel and stopped breathing

Date published

23 Mar 2024
Tom Woodrow

Anyone who lives or works in the Australian bush knows that snake sightings, especially during the warmer, summer months, are a pretty common occurrence. 

But for telescope and space technician, Tom Woodrow, the fateful moment when he stepped out of his car onto a snake, wearing only thongs on his feet, is one close encounter he will never forget!

In the latest Episode #83 of the Flying Doctor Podcast, Tom reveals how a simple loss of concentration, along with a lack of first aid supplies in his car, quickly changed the course of his ‘day-off’.

Tom in Office

When Tom initially realised he’d be bitten by a snake, he experienced no pain. 

He actually felt so completely normal that he even downplayed the incident to his wife, Nicole, who had driven from Sydney to spend the long weekend with him.

Tom, who is also a licensed pilot and self-confessed computer ‘geek’, had been working as a technician at the Siding Spring Observatory (SSO), on the edge of the Warrumbungle National Park near Coonabarabran in NSW. 

So he was well aware of the risk of snakes in his daily work. But he also still recalls the very moment he saw the end of what looked to be the tail of a fairly small, thin and olive coloured snake, disappearing under the car.


Listen now to discover what happens next! 

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