Man lucky to sur­vive sav­age knife at­tack on his brain

Afro Voice (Northern Cape) - - NEWS - ELFAS TORERAI elfast@the­newage.co.za

A 23-YEAR-OLD man from Ma­go­goe vil­lage in Mahikeng counts him­self lucky to have es­caped alive af­ter a sav­age knife at­tack.

Tshep­iso Moth­ibi was stabbed with a hand-made shank knife through his left eye socket which en­tered his brain.

This hap­pened dur­ing a tav­ern brawl last week on Tues­day. He was air­lifted to Tshe­p­ong-Klerks­dorp Hos­pi­tal with the knife still in his head.

For­tu­nately, his eye was not dam­aged and a team of sur­geons led by ac­com­plished neu­ro­sur­geon Dr Tharun Kr­ishna suc­cess­fully op­er­ated on him. Moth­ibi is set to be dis­charged today. The hos­pi­tal said the at­tack on Moth­ibi was nearly fa­tal or could have led to per­ma­nent loss of sight and brain in­jury.

Tshe­p­ong/Klerks­dorp Hos­pi­tal chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Po­laki Mokat­sane said: “This was a com­plex op­er­a­tion as the 3D pic­ture taken by use of the CT Scan ma­chine shows that the whole sharp side of the knife was im­pacted and buried in the brain with only the han­dle side of the knife stick­ing out­side.

“The surgery took five hours to com­plete suc­cess­fully and the pa­tient re­sponded well. Yet, he re­mains still in hos­pi­tal for fur­ther ob­ser­va­tion.”

Dr Kr­ishna was as­sisted by Dr Masedi Mo­hale, Dr Ben Hameda and Dr Hilda Mazvhikwa, both anaes­thetists and Sr Nontsikelelo Mpana, the theatre nurse, in do­ing the emer­gency op­er­a­tion.

“The pa­tient un­der­went a cran­iotomy to open a por­tion of the skull to ex­pose the cra­nial base and the base of the brain to in­spect the ma­jor struc­tures that pro­vide blood sup­ply to the brain, namely the two in­ter­nal carotid ar­ter­ies and the ma­jor cra­nial nerves, to pro­tect and re­pair these vi­tal struc­tures,” Dr Kr­ishna said. “In theatre, the knife was care­fully dis­en­gaged and with­drawn from the brain in a con­trolled man­ner, while be­ing mon­i­tored un­der the mag­ni­fied vi­sion of an op­er­at­ing mi­cro­scope, with­out caus­ing in­ter­nal bleed­ing or in­jury to the struc­tures of the brain. He is due to be dis­charged today,” Kr­ishna said.

The neu­ro­sur­geon ex­pressed op­ti­mism that Moth­ibi would re­cover to full fit­ness. “Post­op­er­a­tively, the pa­tient is do­ing well, with vi­sion of both eyes pre­served. This pa­tient was lucky.

“Had the ob­ject cut through the ma­jor in­ter­nal carotid ar­ter­ies or in­jured the brain stem, he could have lost his life.

“In his case, the ma­jor struc­tures of the brain were found to be in­tact and his eye­sight is also in­tact as the knife pen­e­trated through the nar­row cor­ri­dor be­tween the left eye globe and the root of nose, spar­ing the eye ball to­tally,” he said.

In his mes­sage to the pub­lic, Kr­ishna said: “Stabs to the brain and spine are ex­tremely se­ri­ous sit­u­a­tions.

“The pub­lic is strongly ad­vised not to at­tempt to re­move the im­pacted weapon or ob­ject, be­cause where the ob­ject is lodged in­side is un­known and may trans­fix through im­por­tant struc­tures such as blood ves­sels and cra­nial nerves. “The sud­den pull­out can lead to in­tracra­nial bleed­ing that can be fa­tal. In­stead, sta­bilise the ob­ject and trans­fer the ca­su­alty to the near­est health fa­cil­ity.

Moth­ibi said he looked for­ward to go­ing back home af­ter his life was spared.

“I thank God for giv­ing me a se­cond chance. I thank Tshe­p­ong Hos­pi­tal for mak­ing avail­able the skilled doc­tors who op­er­ated on me.

“Had it not been be­cause of Dr Kr­ishna and the team, I won­der where I would have been,” he said.

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