Miraculous recovery for Pretoria boy who fell on steel pipe


“It’s an absolute miracle,” says the boy’s father, Rudi Terry, from Waverley in the Moot. “We’re so grateful.”

Rudi explains that little Gideon, who will be 10 years old on Thursday, was visiting with Rudi’s mother-in-law, Annemarie van Tonder, in the east of Pretoria. Gideon was in the company of his mother, Zani, and younger sister, Zané.

Gideon and Zané always play with a little neighbourhood girl in the yard when they visit there but on Thursday evening they were in the front of the property on the wall.

“They know that they’re not supposed to play there and when they heard the front door open, he jumped off the wall and landed on a steel pipe which was planted in the ground to hold up a little tree,” Rudi says.

The pipe went into his thigh, through his pelvic bone and past his spine until it stopped under his skin at his shoulder blade.

“His sister saw it happened and she was screaming hysterically.”

Zani and Annemarie acted instinctively and took him off the pipe and rushed him to hospital. There doctors were amazed at how the pipe had missed his colon by mere millimetres as well as his vital organs and blood vessels.

“It looks like the pipe made a small hole in his shoulder blade, similar to what a drill would do,” Rudia says.

Rudi says Gideon later said that he initially hadn’t realised that the pipe had gone through his body and thought it had gone through his pants and T-shirt.

Rudi, who works for the traffic department, was at a congress in Durban at the time of the accident, but flew home immediately to be with his family.

“He was initially up and down and suffered nightmares at night, but from Sunday afternoon onwards things started going a bit better.”

He’s still struggling to walk but the doctor reckons that he should make a full recovery within three weeks.

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