Naka Drotské is ‘living life to the full’

2019-02-15 20:00


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There was a time when he didn’t want to live anymore.

He’s not embarrassed to admit it. After being shot in a home invasion and spending weeks in hospital at death’s door, he was ready to give up.

That was two months ago. Now Naka Drotské (48), hooker of the legendary 1995 Springbok rugby team, is delighted to be alive. And he’s making the most of each day.

It’s been more than 10 weeks since robbers struck at his brother Tinus’ smallholding in Kameeldrift, Pretoria. Naka is still amazed that he’s lived to tell the tale.

When YOU spoke to him after the incident, he was much less positive about his prospects. “Within days [after the attack] I’d lost my fighting spirit. Without fully knowing what I was saying, I begged God to come take me.”

After a setback – he got pneumonia and sepsis and was put on a ventilator – his spirits hit rock bottom. Unsure whether the former Bok was going to pull through, doctors called his family to the hospital.

But now Naka is in better shape than ever, his wife, Marzanne (42), assured YOU on the phone on Thursday.

“In life you have a choice: you can be the victim or victor. With God in our life, my family and I are grateful to say we choose to be victors every day from now on,” she said.

Naka is receiving physiotherapy to regain the full use of his right arm. But the wound drain he’s had attached to him is long forgotten. So are the plaster cast, stitches and dark moods he suffered after the attack.

“The physiotherapist is happy with Naka’s progress,” Marzanne says. “The bullet that penetrated his arm caused a lot of damage and full recovery will take a lot of time and effort.”

Naka is positive and facing each day with renewed courage and vigour, she says.

“Six weeks on antibiotics caused him to lose weight and he’s a bit skinny but we’re working on it. For the most part, our lives are back to normal – yet two months ago we didn’t imagine ever reaching this point.”

Since he’s arrived home on 6 January, Naka has also been receiving trauma counselling.

But Marzanne says neither of them have symptoms of trauma or anxiety related to the incident.

“It’s a miracle. He has no anxiety, no nightmares, flashbacks or night-time terror. We were warned it could return at a later stage . . . But we’re hopeful it won’t.

“The time in hospital, being connected to all those machines, was almost worse for Naka than the actual shooting.

“It really helped to talk about it so soon after getting home. He’d tell people the story in the greatest detail – I believe that’s what helped him heal emotionally.

“Now we’ve put it behind us. We’re just so grateful he’s alive.”

Thankfully, Naka’s sons, Allen (15) and Tristan (11), and Marzanne’s daughters, Jeazanne (19) and Annica (15), also seemed to have been spared the effects of post-traumatic stress.

“The kids are fine – we’re very grateful for that,” Marzanne says. “We were especially worried the boys would be scared when they get back from America [where they’d been visiting their mom, Liske, when the incident happened]. But they do realise that these things happen everywhere. They know we’re lucky still to be intact as a family.”

Kameeldrift police confirmed to YOU that no arrests have been made. The investigation continues.



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