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Jamie Coots: ‘Snake Salvation’ Reality Star Dies From Snake Bite

Mon, February 17, 2014 11:15am EDT by 2 Comments
Jamie Coots Dies
Courtesy Photo

So sad. The preacher who made a living handling snakes on TV was bitten by one on Feb. 15 and died in his Kentucky home after refusing to get medical help.

At least we can say Jamie Coots, star of National Geographic’s Snake Salvation, died doing what he believed in. However, that doesn’t soften the tragic blow of his death from a fatal snake bite on Feb. 15.

Jamie Coots: Reality Star Dies From Snake Bite

During a sermon in his Kentucky church, Jamie was bitten on his right hand, Middlesborough police said according to the New York Daily News. After being bitten, the Pentecostal preacher refused to go to the hospital or seek any medical treatment.

Jamie Coots Dies

The police and medical crews left his house at about 9 p.m. They returned an hour later and found that Jamie had died.

As a preacher who believed snake handling was a commandment from God, Jamie had had run-ins with bites before. He had previously lost the middle finger on his right hand to a bite. After refusing medical treatment, Jamie let the finger rot to black, exposing a quarter-inch of his bone before it broke off. He kept the stub of his finger in a glass jar for his wife.

“When I first started church I said if I ever went to a hospital or a doctor over a snake bite I would quit church,” Jamie said in one episode of Snake Salvation.

Jamie Coots Risked His Life For His Beliefs

That belief may have killed him, but it’s also what made him such a remarkable man. National Geographic mourned their reality star in a statement, praising his “devout religious convictions despite the health and legal peril he often faced.”

“Those risks were always worth it to him and his congregants as a means to demonstrate their unwavering faith,” the statement continued. “We were honored to be allowed such unique access to pastor Jamie and his congregation during the course of our show, and give context to his method of worship.”

Our thoughts go out to Jamie’s friends and family during this difficult time.

— Andrew Gruttadaro

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