Train victim still critical

2018-06-12 06:01

Two weeks since the incident, family and friends of Metrorail train attack victim, Leigh Jansen, are still under strain as she remains in a critical condition in hospital.

The 42-year-old mother had a lucky escape during a suspected train arson incident in Ottery on Wednesday 30 May.

Jansen suffered third-degree burns when a train in which she was travelling caught fire, claiming the life of one commuter.

She lost her bag containing personal documentation and a cellphone in the fire.

The family is receiving support from hundreds of people across Cape Town who are praying for her speedy recovery.

According to her mother, Ursula Schenker, Jansen only showed improvement for less than a day.

“She has been on a ventilator since the incident and has only been out of it for a few hours but then the situation deteriorated. She was in theatre yesterday (Wednesday 6 June) for a face operation. We are hoping she recovers soon.”

Using her hands to explain how she escaped the ordeal, Jansen reportedly told her mother she jumped “through a window that was partially opened”.

She also indicated she did speak to the deceased woman inside the carriage.

“She tries to give information about what transpired but it is difficult because she can only use her hands and she is still wrapped in bandages,” says Schenker.

She says the family remains traumatised.

It is reported that Jansen would join Schenker as a community activist working with the elderly.

Her unfortunate incident has brought the community together, Schenker says.

“The plight of the other victims and their families of similar attacks also weighs heavily as we interact and try to support each other when we visit,” Schenker says.

She blames the incident on criminals who took advantage of the poor security system at the railway lines, saying a lot needs to be done to secure the lines to lessen crime.

The injured Jansen was found by a Seawinds resident, Judy Sackim .

“I was coming from dropping my daughter at school when I saw a train burning. It is not far from my house so I went to the scene and saw Leigh lying there helplessly, struggling to breathe and she could not talk. I am still in shock, I have never seen someone so badly injured, but I know she will pull through. We need her to recover and come back to us.”

Jansen’s colleague, Glen Veermaak, describes her as a vibrant person who is always positive and puts others first.

“She has done it many times, I know she will do it now. We are keeping her in our prayers and the strength in her will help her recover soon.

“It is very difficult to deal with the trauma colleagues and family have gone through since the incident,” Vermaak says.

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