Man lucky to survive savage knife attack on his brain
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 “In theatre, the knife was carefully disengaged and withdrawn from the brain in a controlled manner, while being monitored under the magnified vision of an operating microscope, without causing internal bleeding or injury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.