Thanks for life, voice, whispers victim
By Express News Service - CHENNAI
29th June 2012 07:45 AM
After looking at the large scar that runs on Shanthi’s* neck and face, it is not surprising to hear that she lost her voice box for a while. The victim of a brutal store robbery, the 52-year-old says softly that she is happy to be alive, let alone have a voice to communicate that sentiment.
On the evening of March 13, she was winding up work at the imitation jewellery shop she worked at in Korukkupet, when a stranger walked in. “He told her to get some jewellery from the bottom shelf. When she bent to get it, he swiped the 15 sovereign gold chain she was wearing,” recounts her husband Nandan*. Perhaps to ensure she didn’t raise an alarm, the yet-to-be-identified thief cut her neck and face powerfully with a sickle, before fleeing.
Dr Babu Manohar, Consulatant ENT surgeon at Apollo Hospitals says, “Luckily they stemmed her blood flow and took her to Apollo Tondiarpet, where they said that she needs extensive surgery, if she ever wanted to talk again,” he adds.
Within an hour, she was shifted to their Greams Road facility, all the while bleeding profusely, “We infused her with blood just in time,” he explains, motioning to the large scar on her face, “When there is such a large hole, the chances of morbidity are very high,” he adds.
A quick assessment revealed that her vocal cords, food pipe and airway had been completely severed, while nerves and connective tissue had also been frayed.
The doctors patched up the severed vessels in a 4-hour-long surgery. “It went off quite well and only now, after three months, is she able to ingest small quantities of solid food,” says Dr Manohar.
Though she isn’t well enough to be understood clearly, the fact that she can talk, eat and live life with her husband moved the woman to tears.
One thing she has sworn though is never to wear such exhorbitant gold ornaments. “The scar is enough of a chain,” she motions.
Her husband told Express that the accused had not been brought to book yet.
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