Tractor rips off girl's leg

2005-07-13 23:21

Harrismith - Johannesburg doctors are fighting to save the knee and thigh of a Harrismith girl whose lower left leg was ripped off in a tractor accident.

Joany Badenhorst,a primary-school athletics star and modern dancer who turns 11 next month, is in a stable condition in Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg after the tractor accident.

It happened on Tuesday afternoon at Mount Louise, the farm belonging to her grandparents, Gert and Joan Badenhorst, and her parents, Piet and Petro Badenhorst.

Joany recently won Eastern Free State colours for high jump and has won Free State colours for modern dance for the second successive year.

Now, she has lost her lower leg and the next day or two will determine whether she will keep her knee and thigh.

Doctors are fighting to save her thigh, which was also seriously injured.

Caught in auxiliary drive-shaft

Thanks to a mercy flight which rushed her to hospital, there was a chance that she might keep what remained of her leg, said Johan Bothma, a family friend who was at the farm when the accident happened and who had rushed to help Joany.

Bothma said Joany, a pupil at Harrismith Primary School, and other children were helping farmworkers burn preparatory strips for fire-breaks.

The tractor's auxiliary drive-shaft which runs the implements behind the tractor, presumably snagged her shoe or long pants.

The powerful high-speed shaft ripped off her lower leg and seriously injured her thigh.

Joany's family and Bothma raced with her from the farm to the airport and an air ambulance took her to Johannesburg.

The doctors treating her said that reaching hospital less than three hours after the accident gave them a much-better chance of saving her thigh.