- Triathlete Mhlengi Gwala has made a remarkable recovery after the incident when three men attacked him and tried to saw off his legs
- He is already back on his feet, able to stand and even walk a short distance without crutches but still has a long way to go before he is fully recovered
- There is still little news on why he was attacked and his attackers are still at large leaving Gwala worried they might strike again
News that triathlete Mhlengi Gwala is making a good recovery after men tried to saw off his legs will be welcome to many who have opened the hearts and donated towards his recovery.
The news that Gwala had been attacked by three men during a training ride from his home in Chesterville through Glenwood left Durbanites and many other South Africans shaken.
Briefly.co.za has learned that the athlete who had to undergo surgery to repair the damage to his limbs, is back on his feet, albeit for short spells.
Mostly he uses a wheelchair and crutches, but he may well be discharged from hospital soon as he has made what his doctors describe as “significant progress”, and even manages to stand and walk a short distance without the help of crutches.
With his mother and a close friend keeping him company and physiotherapy to help him regain strength after his attack, he has been able to focus on his recovery. “The pain is much, much better than it was before, and I am recovering well and taking it easy,” he told reporters who visited him in hospital last week.
Sandile Shange said he was delighted the athlete could now walk slowly without crutches for a short distance.“He can use a wheelchair now, and walks with crutches - he has made great progress that his physiotherapy nurses and doctors are happy,” he said.
Although it is possible that Gwala will be discharged on Monday, Shange said Gwala would not be moving back to his home in Chesterville, but would live elsewhere. “The move is simply because his home is not wheelchair-friendly.”
Shange said the crowd-funding initiative which was used to raise funds to pay Gwala’s medical bills might also make him a target for criminals. “We are worried that some people might think they have access to the money and invade their home, so it’s not safe at the moment,” he said.
Shange also said Gwala could also not go back to his Chesterville home because of ongoing safety concerns.“We don’t know who did this and why - now, because no one has been arrested, we have no guarantee that they will not attack again,” Shange said.
The motive for the attack is still unknown. When Gwala was ambushed, his attackers took nothing from him despite him carrying a mobile phone and watch, even his bicycle was left, leaving questions about what his attackers were trying to achieve.
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