Saw attack athlete on the fast track to full recovery
Durban triathlete Mhlengi Gwala endured a horror attack, but the resolute sportsman is back on his bicycle to health
More than two months after Durban sportsman Mhlengi Gwala fell victim to a vicious saw attack, he has taken his first steps without crutches.
The triathlete from Chesterville, west of the city, was attacked by three men who attempted to cut off his leg using a chainsaw in a bizarre early morning attack, which he managed to survive after flagging down a security vehicle for help.The attackers – who pounced on Gwala while he was training near the University of KwaZulu-Natal – almost dismembered Gwala’s right lower leg, hacking through 80% of the bone below his knee.
The 27-year-old successfully underwent surgery at a private hospital and awoke to an outpouring of local and international support including a crowdfunding campaign Get Mhlengi Back on His Bike – which raised over R700,000.Police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala said investigations were continuing and no arrests had been made.
While Gwala has not been available for comment, his social media posts tell the story of his road to recovery following the horror attack.
Last week he uploaded a video clip of himself to Instagram, which captured him taking his first steps at the Prime Human Performance centre – where he has been honing his skills as a triathlete.“First walk without crutches and leg support, how amazing is that?
“I can smell Thursday morning circuit riding a bike. I can also smell the Durban ocean – long swim,” Gwala wrote in his post.
While doctors predicted that his recovery time would take anything between 12 to 18 months, it appears Gwala is keen to pound the pavements and get back on his bike.In another video post Gwala displays how he is exercising his injured leg.
“Road to recovery thanks again to the people who supported and prayed for me.”
Gwala has his sights set on the gruelling Mr Price Foundation 606km ride from Johannesburg to Durban in December. The event – which is done over two days – aims to raise funds for the foundation’s youth empowerment programmes.
“#TheywontstopmetodowhatIlove,” Gwala wrote.