T­he­ha­no ‘st­rug­gling’ af­ter dog at­tack

Knysna-Plett Herald - - News | Nuus - S­te­fan Goo­sen

T­he­ha­no Da­man, the 11-y­e­ar-old boy who was sa­va­ge­ly at­tac­ked by dogs in Knys­na re­cent­ly, is re­co­ve­ring from his se­venth o­pe­ra­ti­on in the Red Cross War Me­mo­ri­al Child­ren’s Hos­pi­tal in Ca­pe To­wn.

T­he­ha­no, from Jood­se­kamp, was wal­king to f­riends on Hu­man Rig­hts Day, 21 March, w­hen two pit bulls mau­led him. His legs bo­re the brunt of the bru­tal at­tack.

He has sin­ce un­der­go­ne three pro­ce­du­res at Ge­or­ge Hos­pi­tal, and four mo­re at the Red Cross Hos­pi­tal.

‘He is in ex­tre­me pain’

Ac­cor­ding to his mot­her Me­lo­nie Da­man, her son is in ex­tre­me pain af­ter the la­test pro­ce­du­re on 9 A­pril – a skin graft. “It was a three-hour o­pe­ra­ti­on and ac­cor­ding to doc­tors it was a success,” she said on Tu­es­day 10 A­pril. She ad­ded that her son will be going in­to t­he­a­t­re a­gain next week as the pro­ce­du­re on his rig­ht leg has not been com­ple­ted be­cau­se the doc­tor nee­ded to le­a­ve a spot o­pen from which to drain b­lood and ot­her fluids. “He still has two ‘drai­ning ma­chi­nes’ con­nected to him,” she said.

‘E­mo­ti­o­nal­ly st­rug­gling’

Da­man said T­he­ha­no is not ta­king his in­ju­ries well e­mo­ti­o­nal­ly. “W­hen he look­ed at his legs t­his mor­ning (10 A­pril) he said, ‘Mom­my, I pro­ba­bly won’t walk a­gain’. I told him that with God no­thing is im­pos­si­ble, and al­so that un­der­going phy­si­ot­her­a­py will help him to walk a­gain so­meday,” she said.

“I am ex­tre­me­ly trau­ma­ti­sed by seeing my son crying and in so much pain. He as­ked the doc­tor to co­ver up his legs with bandages be­cau­se he doe­sn’t li­ke to see his legs the way they are,” the mot­her said. Dif­fi­cul­ty with one leg

Doc­tors told her that T­he­ha­no will st­rug­gle with his rig­ht leg in fu­tu­re as most of the ten­dons ha­ve been de­stroy­ed. “Last week, T­he­ha­no could on­ly ta­ke four steps du­ring phy­sio and his rig­ht leg was drag­ging a bit,” she said.

Knys­na po­li­ce spo­kes­per­son Ser­ge­ant Chris S­pies said the ca­se of at­temp­ted mur­der a­gainst the o­w­ner of the dogs – which ha­ve sin­ce been put do­wn by the Knys­na A­ni­mal Wel­fa­re So­cie­ty (KAWS) – is still being in­ves­ti­ga­ted. He said it was chan­ged from the i­ni­ti­al char­ge of as­sault with in­ten­ti­on to com­mit grie­vous bo­di­ly harm, ba­sed on in­for­ma­ti­on obtai­ned du­ring the i­ni­ti­al in­ci­dent and pre­li­mi­na­ry in­ves­ti­ga­ti­on.

In­ves­ti­ga­ti­on on­going

“The in­ves­ti­ga­ti­on has not been fi­na­li­sed yet and no ar­rest has been ma­de. The doc­ket will be sub­mit­ted to the se­ni­or pu­blic pro­se­cu­tor for a de­ci­si­on w­het­her to pro­se­cu­te as soon as the in­ves­ti­ga­ti­on is com­ple­ted,” S­pies ad­ded.

He said that victims of such in­ci­dents may re­port it to the Knys­na SAPS and/or to the a­ni­mal wel­fa­re so­cie­ty. “All mat­ters are de­alt with on its own me­rits ba­sed on the ci­r­cum­stan­ces of such an in­ci­dents.

“To re­me­dy the si­tu­a­ti­on, af­fected par­ties can and may seek ci­vil mi­ti­ga­ti­on with re­gards to such in­ci­dents in re­la­ti­on to the da­ma­ges suf­fe­red, as well as me­di­cal ex­pen­ses in­cur­red.”

P­ho­to: Sup­p­lied

T­he­ha­no Da­man (11) is re­co­ve­ring at the Red Cross War Me­mo­ri­al Child­ren’s Hos­pi­tal in Ca­pe To­wn af­ter his se­venth o­pe­ra­ti­on.

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