Lovemore Park - South Africans have rallied to raise funds for the medical bills of a 9-year-old boy who was attacked by a pig.
On September 30, Luke Mulvey was attacked by a 250kg mother sow that he has looked after as a pet for the last two-years.
The boy, who lives on a smallholding in Lovemore Park, Eastern Cape, had flown kites with his father and stopped by the pig pen to check on their sow and her piglets.
The 9-year-old was not, however, expecting the sow to be uneasy about his presence, as the pig was usually friendly and placid, but she charged at him to protect her newborn babies.
“She recently had babies and she didn’t mind it previously when we went in to video them. Two days later when we visited her again, it happened so very quickly and although I was right there, she got hold of his arm and shook him like a rag doll before I could do anything,” said Luke’s father, David Mulvey.
Watching in horror, the father grabbed onto the pig’s tail, using all his strength to prevent her from lunging towards Luke again and killing him.
“I am so grateful that I had the strength to hold on. It was a terrifying and traumatic experience for both of us. I thought I was going to see my son killed before my eyes. My world was turned upside down in a flash,” the father said.
A man who works on the farm heard Luke’s terrified screams and rushed to the pen to lift the terrified boy to safety.
With his left arm crushed and his right hand and fingers bitten, Luke was bleeding profusely and in severe pain when rushed to St George's Hospital, where his broken arm was eventually wired and plated together.
Since the incident, the boy has endured four surgeries in a long road to recovery, involving physiotherapy, counselling, and possibly skin grafts.
Luke’s medical costs exceed R300 000 thus far, as the family does not have medical aid and turned to crowdfunding platform BackaBuddy for assistance for his medical fees.
“Like so many, we have been struggling to make ends meet during these days of lockdown, and do not have medical aid. This is a crippling blow for us. The costs have very quickly escalated beyond our means, and any help would be greatly appreciated,” David said.
With generous support from the public, more than R48 000 had been raised as of Tuesday afternoon.
“The support from everyone has been so overwhelming. We are blown away and so thankful for how generous people can be for my boy. Family members, teachers, neighbours, friends, and strangers have all stepped up to support Luke and our BackaBuddy campaign. I would be lost without their help,” the father said.