A few days ago the adventure community was shocked and saddened to hear about South African Davey du Plessis getting attacked by gunmen while traveling through the Amazon. At the time he was attempting a source-to-sea journey along the entire length of the Amazon River that started at its source on Mount Mismi back in June. Over the weekend, two gunmen appeared out of the jungle, opened fire on Davey without warning and left him for dead with gunshot wounds in his back, neck and various other areas of his body. After surviving the attack, he was able to find help and eventually was taken to to a local hospital, before ultimately being evacuated to Lima for further treatment.
Over the past few few days, Davey has been in the ICU and under constant supervision by doctors. They have been monitoring his condition and waiting for him to regain his strength while they determined if they would need to do surgery to remove the bullets and shrapnel from his body. In many cases the body will adapt to the bullet fragments and no invasive surgery is required. As it stands right now, the doctors feel that they won’t need to operate on Davey, despite the fact that he has shrapnel in his heart and lung. They may eventually remove the bullet from his neck, but they are still waiting to make that determination as he gets stronger.
Du Plessis will remain in the intensive care unit until Friday, which is when the doctors are planning on removing the drip drain from his lung. They are hoping by then that the lung will have started to heal, but as of now it continues to bleed.
Overall, Davey is in remarkably good shape all things considered. He is in a good deal of pain, which is not relieved by medications as they make the young man feel ill. He has passed through the critical period and it doesn’t seem that his life is in jeopardy, although there is a long road ahead towards healing and rehabilitation. He has his father with him now and his mother will join him in Lima tomorrow, which will certainly help his efforts to get well too.
It will be interesting to hear his full story once he has recovered and has the strength to share it. I’m sure there are elements to it that we’re not aware of yet. It’ll be a harrowing tale for sure, but for now I think it’s good to just know Davey is out of danger and starting the healing process. For more updates as they come, checkout Davey’s Facebook page and website.
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