Injured teen biker makes progress after doctors reattach leg
The teenage survivor of a horrific motorbike crash in Walmer on Friday night is recovering in hospital after having his leg reattached in “miracle” surgery just days before his birthday.
Warren Swart, 18, suffered multiple injuries including a partially severed leg in the accident, in which his best friend, DF Malherbe High School pupil Paul Manyadzwa, also 18, was killed
The Walmer school said Paul, a popular sports star and achiever whose personality “shone out”, had been due to start his matric year tomorrow, as a prefect.
Warren’s aunt, Kelly-Ann Stander, said the surgeons treating him at Livingstone Hospital were “miracle workers” who managed to reattach his leg instead of having to amputate it.
“The options were clear and we opted for him to [have the leg reattached] knowing there might be a risk of amputation at a later stage.
“However, everything is looking up and we are all optimistic,” Stander said.
“We were all thrilled when he even moved his toes on Sunday morning after the operation.
“Only in three weeks will the doctors be able to tell us if it was a success. We are just so grateful to the doctors and surgeons who have done such a great job.”
Warren was due to be moved from the hospital’s intensive care unit to the orthopaedic ward either last night or today.
Stander said he would go for another operation tomorrow – his 19th birthday – when doctors would reassess his injuries.
Despite happiness over Warren’s progress, she said the family was “still so devastated about the loss of Paul”. DF Malherbe deputy principal Penny Vosloo echoed this.
“All the staff started today [yesterday] and everyone is just so completely shocked and shattered. It is all very sad,” she said. “The mood is very sombre.” DF Malherbe had arranged a memorial service to be held at the school tomorrow from 6pm, she said, after she and the principal met Paul’s parents – originally from Zimbabwe – on Sunday.
Paul’s funeral will be held in Zimbabwe.
Vosloo said DF Malherbe had been inundated with messages and phone calls.
“People are showing their support to the family as well as the school,” she said.
“Many people are very touched and hurt by the news as Paul was just so friendly and got on with everyone he met.
“He was just such a remarkable young man with such amazing potential. I can say without a doubt he was definitely going places.
“His personality just shone through.”
Paul also loved sport, she said. “He played several times for our first team rugby side and was also a great athlete.”
The driver of the car involved in the collision, Boomtown creative director Ross Ventress, 45, is due to appear in court on June 18.
He declined to comment yesterday, on the advice of his attorney.
Police spokeswoman Colonel Priscilla Naidu said blood drawn from Ventress was taken to their Cape Town laboratory.
Paul was flung 40m from the site of impact at the intersection of Sixth Avenue and Heugh Road and was found in the car park of the Sixth Avenue shopping centre. He died shortly after the accident.
Ventress was arrested on the scene and later released on R1 000 bail.