Pretoria - Kristian Prinsloo has died a day after his 12th birthday.
He was attacked by a so-called tame fully grown lion outside Lephalale nearly three weeks ago, Netwerk24 reports.
Kristian has been in an induced coma in the ICU at Muelmed Mediclinic in Pretoria since the attack on April 8. He was in a critical condition and connected to a respiratory device the entire time.
After undergoing both a MRI and a CT scan, his parents, Herman and Adri were told about two weeks ago that the doctors couldn’t pick up any brain activity. Two of his neck vertebrae were damaged during the attack and doctors were unable to perform any operation because of swelling on his brain.
Herman said shortly after the attack that there were numerous sutures on his only child’s neck. The bite marks to his windpipe were attended to at the Lephalale Mediclinic where the bleeding to the back of his neck was also stopped before he was taken by helicopter to the Mediclinic Muelmed.
Kristian was visiting his grandmother, Marie Strydom, who has lived in her own home on Cor and Alet Vos’s luxury estate outside Lephalale the past five years when the three-year-old lion attacked him.
Strydom, 75 and the Vos couple are friends. They have three “tame” lions who live in cages on the estate.
Kristian’s father Herman said the lion who attacked his son had appeared in her kitchen all of a sudden. She told Kristian to run to the bedroom, but before he could do that, the lion went for his throat.
Strydom shoved the lion off Kristian, who was the apple of her eye. She protected Kristian from the lion by lying over the child.
Kristian, who was a Grade 6 pupil at the Louis Leipoldt Laerskool in Centurion, regularly visited his grandma during school holidays.
His parents and grandma stayed with him in the hospital and didn’t leave his bedside.
Support and prayers
Since Kristian was admitted to hospital, a Facebook page has been created and Herman on Wednesday morning wrote, “Kristian Josef Armand Prinsloo died at 10:50. We love you son. Herman & Adri Prinsloo.”
More than 4 000 people followed the Facebook page. The page is filled with messages of support and prayers.
After the news of Kristian’s passing was posted, more words of sympathy followed.
Donna Mellor Botes wrote, “My dearest child… we say goodbye for now. We're really going to miss you and there’s no words to describe how we feel. May you rest in peace, Sweetheart.”
Yolanda Jacoby wrote how many people Kristian touched during his life.
“Herman Prinsloo, your son touched the lives of thousands of people during this short time. He touched people all over the world…young and old. I can’t imagine how you must feel, but as my song says: “In the Arms of the Angels”… that is where he is now and his friendly smile on the photograph will always be remembered. Everything of the best to all of you during this trying time.XXX”
Lineze Wilson wrote, “Rest in Peace, young man. Our deepest sympathy to Herman and Adri. Kristian, your Leipie friends will miss you terribly”.