South Africa

Elderly Pretoria cyclist in ICU after stabbing during robbery

Freddy Strydom, a 57-year-old cyclist, is fighting for his life in ICU after being brutally stabbed in the back by criminals who stole his bicycle.

The Midstream Estate resident was cycling with a group of 12 others when three men pounced on him between the R21 and M18 in Centurion on Saturday morning.

According to Strydom’s daughter Rene Le Grange, the robbers knocked Strydom, who was at the back of the group, off his bicycle and stabbed him before fleeing with his bicycle.

Le Grange said the other cyclists heard screams and they turned back only to find Strydom on the ground and bleeding. She said the cyclists then saw three men running into the bushes with the bicycle.

An ambulance was called but due to the remote route they were cycling on the ambulance couldn’t reach them. “Fortunately, one cyclist went back to fetch his bakkie which he used to transport my father to the hospital,” she said.

She said she received the news from her mother who was alerted by the cyclists.

Strydom was stabbed with a big self-made blade at about half an arm’s length mid back next to his spine creating an eight cm laceration.

“He is currently in a stable condition in ICU. He has a drainage pipe attached to drain the internal bleeding,” Le Grange said.

She added that he was undergoing surgery to repair the internal damage.

“My mother had to fly back from Cape Town so that she can take care of him once he is discharged from hospital.”

Freddy Strydom. Photo: Supplied

Le Grange said the surgeon treating his father has revealed that the Strydom was extremely lucky to be alive.

“The surgeon explained that the blade missed my father’s main aorta artery by a mere two millimetres.

We are all worried and very scared as we do not know how his body fully recover from internal injuries and he is not young, so there are always worries about recovery.”

She said her whole family was scared and distraught because of this incident.

Le Grange told Rekord that she was told that the attack on his father was the second of the morning as another victim was also reported attacked and had his bicycle taken in the same spot.

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