South Africans helped raise R300k in less than 24hrs for Triathlete Mhlengi Gwala


Donors have wowed by raising nearly R300,000.00 in less than 24-hours to help South African Triathlete Mhlengi Gwala get back on his bike.


The harrowing story of Mhlengi Gwala’s brutal attack sent shockwaves across South Africa. During an early morning training session, Mhlengi was approached by three men armed with a saw. The men dragged him into the bushes an attempted to remove both his legs.

The attack was incredibly brutal but Mhlengi survived the ordeal thanks to a nearby security guard and was rushed to a local hospital. Yesterday, Mhlengi went into surgery and while he was under, a crowdfund was launched to help pay for his medical bills and rehabilitation. By the time his surgery was completed, the crowdfund had raised enough money to fully cover his expenses.

People have come together to help pay for everything. JP Valverde started a crowdfund to raise R100,000.00 and in less than 24-hours that amount was tripled to R300,000.00. The funding has gone so well that the campaign has pushed its threshold up to R500k.

“We are hoping to raise funds to support him with all his medical expenses, transportation, bike replacement and rehabilitation costs.”

“We want to see him back on his bike!” – JP Valverde

This incredible show of compassion has restored our faith in humanity after the shocking event. Together we are better and South Africa, along with the rest of the world is standing with Mhlengi.

We are almost at a loss for words at how generous people have been. Mhlengi has been blessed by so many people he will never meet but we are sure he will make every single donor proud. We wish him a speedy recovery and hope to see Mhlengi back on his bike soon.

To help support Mhlengi, you can donate towards his medical fund at BackaBuddy. The funds will be paid towards all medical costs.

Mhlengi in hospital

**Update: The fund is currently sitting on  R660 000 with all the proceeds going to Mhlengi.

IOL reported over the weekend that the triathlete was in a stable condition and ready for rehabilitation. While speculation ran rife about the motive for the attack last week, it was left to surgeons to repair the leg damage.

“The most devastating blow was that of the tibial nerve which was completely transected,” said plastic surgeon, Dr O’Sharran Singh who, together with Dr Firoz Kariel reconstructed Gwala’s severed leg in a complex five-and-half-hour operation at St Augustine’s hospital.

Singh said while there had been conflicting reports as to whether attackers had used a hand saw or power-driven chainsaw, he said the extent and nature of the injuries, and that the attackers cut through 80% of bone on Gwala’s right leg, showed it was a chainsaw.

Singh also said while tissue damage was not serious, his right leg required major reconstructive surgery.

This involved fixating the bone, using rods and pins, and then the more complex task repairing the muscle and nerve tissue.

“At the moment he is stable and not at risk of losing his leg, but rehabilitation is not predictable. I highly doubt he will be able to function again at a competitive level in the near future. His progress will be reassessed every two months,” Singh said Kariel concurred: “his bone is probably going to heal without any significant issues”.

“The problem is the recovery from his nerve injury.”

He said the process would take at least 12-18 months, and a minimum of six months before any assessment could be made on “what sort of recovery we can expect”. “But his return to professional sport is very unlikely.”

Gwala, though, relieved to have not lost his leg, said even if he might never be able to run with the same strength, he hoped to recover well enough to cycle again and perform well in other areas of sport associated with lifesaving.

Sources: BackaBuddy | IOL
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Tyler Vivier
Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy. Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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