Adventurer: Doctors ‘no’ to heart op

2012-08-30 00:00

DOCTORS have decided against operating on the Durban adventurer who was shot by bandits in the Peruvian jungle on the weekend.

Concern for Davey du Plessis after his ordeal centred on a shotgun pellet lodged in his heart, which surgeons are worried could shift and cause fatal damage.

But following a battery of tests, Du Plessis (24) was given the all-clear, although he remains in ICU in a Lima hospital.

Doctors told his family they would allow tissue to grow around the pellet, likewise with others that penetrated deep into his legs and back. However, they intend to remove surface shrapnel, particularly projectiles lodged in his face.

His mother Robyn Wolff, who leaves at 6.30 am today on a day-long flight to be with her son, said he still had a pipe in one lung, which was bleeding.

Apart from that and suffering pain and fatigue, she said, Du Plessis was over the worst and could possibly be discharged and brought home next week.

“I’m just relieved they are not doing any surgery.”

Du Plessis is lucky to be alive after he was ambushed on Saturday afternoon by two men carrying shotguns. He was paddling on the Ucayali River in Peru as part of a source-to-sea solo journey along the length of the Amazon River.

Severely wounded from three blasts, Du Plessis hurried through the jungle for about five kilometres before local villagers found him.

He endured a four-hour boat ride to the nearest town, Pucallpa, where he was attended to and then airlifted to Lima.

Wolff also plans to meet Darwin Escobar, the man who found Du Plessis and called her to explain in broken English that her son had been in an “accident”.

The pair have exchanged translated e-mails since and Wolff said she would definitely be giving Escobar a reward, yet to be determined.

“I don’t know their financial situation over there, but I will be giving him something worthwhile.”

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