South African chainsaw attack athlete walks again

A South African athlete who was attacked with a chainsaw by unknown assailants in March can now walk without crutches.

Mhlengi Gwala underwent surgery and has been recovering following the brutal attack near the University of KwaZulu Natal in his home town of Durban.

He had been doing triathlon training when he was attacked.

Assailants held him at gunpoint and tried to cut his legs below the knees then left, leaving him to crawl to a road for aid.

He told BBC’s Focus on Africa that he was convinced that he would lose a leg.

“The doctors said they cut through 80% of everything, only 20% was holding my foot,” Mr Gwala said.

A crowdfunding campaign was launched in response and raised more than $53,000 (£39,000) for his medical treatment.

“Things are going back to normal. I was scared to start training, but now I’m feeling much better than before. Today, I started walking without crutches,” he is quoted as saying.

Doctors said that the 26 year-old triathlete’s full recovery could still take as long as two years because of the damaged in the nerves.

Fellow athlete Sandile Shange said he was proud about Mr Gwala’s progress.

“I cycled [for] 30 mins today, I was averaging 30 km per hour (18 miles per hour)” Mr Gwala told the BBC of his experience cycling for the first time since his accident.

He posted a video of his recovery on Instagram:


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