Cape Town -
The teenager who has been in a coma for a week after being attacked on Durbanville’s party strip, moved unexpectedly on Wednesday, raising his hand after a group of strangers asked his mother if they could pray for him.
He has since opened his eyes once, and begun breathing on his own.
Jean Lambrechts, 19, was attacked and assaulted outside the Hooters bar in Edward Street in the early hours of last Saturday morning by a group of men. He and his friends had been on their way to Stones.
Lambrechts apparently tried to reason with the men, but was hit in the jaw, beaten and kicked in the head several time, leaving him in a coma with severe head injuries.
His mother, Henrieta
Sauers, told Weekend Argus his last words to her after being admitted to the intensive care unit at Tygerberg Hospital were: “Lief vir jou, Mama (Love you, Mommy)”.
Lambrechts has so far had two operations, the most recent to remove a part of his skull.
He had not opened his eyes nor spoken a word since, until Wednesday when a severely scarred burn victim and his friends asked Sauers during visiting hours whether they could pray for him – and he moved unexpectedly, raising his hand.
Sauers said she’d never met the man previously, but agreed to the request.
“It was as if everyone in the room could feel the presence of the Holy Spirit as they started praying for my son. They did not know us and we did not know them. But they said that God wanted them to pray,” she said.
The man explained that he was the victim of a petrol tanker explosion, which left him with severe facial and body scarring.
“When my child lifted his hand, the man who was praying cried hysterically. It was unbelievable,” Sauers said.
The next morning, when she made her routine call to the hospital to check on her son, she was told he had opened his eyes, and even moved his legs.
The pipes had been removed from his throat, and he was slowly starting to breath on his own.
“I burst into tears and thanked God. My boy is slowly making progress and will hopefully soon get better,” she said.
Sauers and her daughter Tanya Lambrechts spent most of Thursday and yesterday encouraging him to open his eyes. They kissed his feet, neck and face, while urging him to squeeze their hands, and move his arms or legs.
He moved his leg or hand several times.
Sauers told Weekend Argus that hospital staff were just as excited as she was about the improvement.
“On request, he’s stuck out his tongue, moved his leg and responded to one of his favourite songs by moving his toes to the beat,” she added.
For now, Sauers is less concerned about the police finding her son’s attacker than focusing on his recovery.
“There’s no place for animosity right now. The most important job is to make sure my son gets out of this hospital bed and walks out of here. Whether the police catch the culprits or not, that will make no difference right now. His well-being is all that matters,” she said.
Sauers is hopeful that her son’s recent progress is an indication that he will soon come out of his coma.
“I know he will get better. He’s my angel child,” she said.
“He’s one of those children who would never miss a curfew, and if he knew he would be late he would tell me in advance. Then when he got home he would come into my room, kiss me and tell me that he loves me.”