New Delhi: "Have they been caught?" This is what the young student, who was gangraped and brutally assaulted in a moving bus on Sunday night, asked her family members on Thursday when they met her in Safdurjung hospital where she is undergoing treatment. Sources said the 23-year-old girl, who remained critical but stable, cannot speak as she has a tube in her mouth and communicates by writing on paper.
"She is aware that the media has taken up the case. The girl asked her family whether the accused have been caught," they said. Sources said her family is thankful to media but at the same time does not want their privacy intruded.
on Wednesday, she had spoken to her mother and said, "I want to live". Having undergone a surgery to remove her gangrenous intestine, doctors said the girl passed an "uneventful night" and is "stable, alert and conscious".
"The night after the elective exploratory laparotomy, was uneventful. In the morning she was in stable condition. She continues to remain in ICU on life support, her vital parameters like blood pressure, urine output, respiratory rate were within acceptable limits," Dr BD Athani, Medical Superintendent of Safdarjung Hospital, told reporters.
"She is making an attempt to breathe on her own and we are about to start to give her total parenteral nutrition (TPN), meaning providing nutrition through intravenous route, as she won't be able to take her feed from her mouth because of the intestinal loss," he said.
In the evening, doctors said, she was in the same condition. The doctors, however, said that there were some signs of reduction of the total count (of the blood cells) and there was mild diminution of platelet count, which was 41,000 this morning, "otherwise she is alert and conscious".
Athani said infection in this case was one of the impending dangers that could result in complications. "It is one of the expected, anticipated danger and to avert that we have been giving her antibiotics from day one in adequate amount. As you know that the intestine was in a state of gangrenous condition and there are perennial wounds also," Athani said.
Asked about her being removed from ventilator, the doctors said, "She had always been on ventilator. On 18th morning she was on partial support but she had been on ventilator support. We have made no attempt to take her off the ventilator support, that is not something urgently required to be done."
The doctors said their "immediate and foremost concern" was to get her out of intensive care unit (ICU) and make her stable. Lauding the girl's spirit, Athani said she has an "immense fighting spirit" as despite sustaining such grievous injuries, "she had been stable and remained almost alert and withstood too, apart from assault, the all exploratory interventions."
"She is a brave girl and withstanding right from the day of assault till today everything." Asked if she was communicating, Athani said, "She is conscious but not able to speak as there is a tube inside for ventilation as she is on ventilator. She is able to communicate with gestures. We are not disturbing her again and again to communicate and we know that she is alert."
Doctors, who have been treating her, have termed her case as "extremely unusual and extremely rare" and said they have never seen such grave injuries to the intestine in cases of sexual assault.