The National – Thursday, June 30, 2011
AUSTRALIAN doctors saved the life of a New Zealand anthropologist after he was pierced by arrows while trying to save his girlfriend from being raped.
The man needed a blood transfusion from one of the doctors following the couple’s harrowing ordeal in the remote North Fly district in Western on June 20.
One of the arrows penetrated his rib cage, narrowly missing the liver before it passed through his stomach and stopped just short of his aorta, the main artery.
Bleeding profusely, he was bashed on the head with a rock before the couple managed to flee.
The French woman, who was sexually assaulted, activated an emergency beacon and the couple reached a village aid post where they were able to organise an airlift to the port town of Kiunga.
Sydney doctors Josette Docherty and Allan Mason, who are volunteering at a local hospital, treated the injured man.
Mason donated half a litre of his own blood to stabilise the New Zealander before the couple was evacuated to Queensland’s Cairns Base Hospital last Tuesday.
A Queensland Health spokeswoman told the Cairns Post newspaper the man was discharged on Tuesday.
The couple declined to be interviewed.
Daru-Kiunga Bishop Gilles Cote said it appeared their attacker – a tribesman who wanted to marry the French woman – turned aggressive when he was rejected.
When the New Zealander stepped in to protect the woman he was shot, Bishop Cote told the Cairns Post.
“The spears narrowly missed the man’s vital organs.
“He lost a lot of blood.
“It is a miracle he survived,” he said.