Thursday, January 1, 2009

Surgery in the Bush

- Abigail Modra -

A while ago Barry Meijer invited the Pastrana family of the Lazy Lizard and the rest of us in their extended family to spend three nights at Meijer's Rust, his spectacular farm situated deep in Meiringspoort. We eventually got our act together and scheduled the first night for Tuesday, 13 January.

When Tuesday evening arrived so did we, laden with sleeping bags, bed rolls, sunscreen, tents and an abundance of food. Enthused by the prospect of spending three days and nights at the top of the mountain and away from civilisation, we piled all our stuff into the trailer of a sturdy looking tractor and set off. Forty-five minutes and a bone-jarring ride later, we wished that we had packed more thoughtfully. However, all bumps and bruises were soon forgotten in the excitement of setting up camp. That night, the rain decided to join in the fun.

In the morning a rather bedraggled looking group huddled around the smoking camp fire, steaming mugs in hand while a fine drizzle tried its best to dampen our spirits. No such luck. We had a great morning until noon when something happened that shocked us. Rebekah Swanepoel was walking past a large rock with a cup of tea. Suddenly, she grabbed her leg and started crying. I thought she had just spilt tea on herself, but as she turned around I saw a large splash of blood!

Our two first aid kits came out and all our plasters were used to tightly close a gaping wound about 5 cm long on the back of Rebekah’s calf. We knew straight away that it needed stitches. Rebekah’s two aunts, Terry and Caryn, are trained nurses and decided to do the stitching right there instead of risking further injury riding down in the tractor.

Fortunately, we were able to get hold of the necessary medical supplies and the 'operation' went smoothly and without event. Bekah was very brave despite the pain and now has nine stitches. All of her brothers and cousins assisted with the surgery. As Granddad aptly put it we looked like "a bunch of vultures around a carcass". With all the trauma over we were able to enjoy the rest of the camp and it was a splendid holiday. We went on the adventure hike, swam in some of the beautiful river pools and enjoyed the regal views. It was truly an incredible experience and one to be envied.

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