Mark Randall “Mack” Wolford was known all over Appalachia as a daring man of conviction. He believed that the Bible mandates that Christians handle serpents to test their faith in God — and that, if they are bitten, they trust in God alone to heal them.
It didn't end well for Pastor Mark. He is now sleeping with the 4,000 year-old dinosaurs.
I think the trick (not that Pastor Marks faith was a simple side-show) is by injecting over time a progressively diluted serum, it expands the golden 'window of opportunity' to get yer azz to a hospital for serious medical help before the poison really kicks in.
It raises your tolerance and develops anti-bodies to the venom in your bloodstream. It better slows the venom down, but doesn't stop it.
This is different from a prior 'full-venom' bite. My understanding is if you are so incredibly lucky as to survive a rattlesnake bite, you're going to die a really horrible death if you get struck again. Your body cannot be 'conditioned' in that way because of the potency of the venom.
The twisted irony is Pastor Mark (and apparently, his father, too) felt that the practice of their faith would bring their families together when, effectively, nearly all had left the practice - likely what drove them all apart.
Human physiology and science. Stoopid Godless Secular Liberals