A 35-year-old woman is in a critical condition in hospital after her arms were cut off and her skull cracked during an attack, allegedly by her partner, at uMkhuze on the far north of KwaZulu-Natal.

The incident took place on Tuesday night in the presence of the victim’s 2-year-old child.

The victim, Nkosing’phile Nxumalo, was rescued by neighbours who heard her screams. She was then airlifted to a hospital in Durban. Speaking from her hospital bed, Nxumalo recalls the ordeal.

“He takes a big bush knife, he cut my hands and all over my body in my elbows and head. There was a lot of blood in the room and there was a baby, my little one, Sintusethu, she’s only 2 years. She was crying and I was crying. He thought he finished me. He took a rope, he committed suicide. And then I called the neighbours, they opened the door,” says Nxumalo.

Meanwhile, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon Dr Stephen Simango says Nxumalo will have to undergo a number of surgical procedures. Simango says Nxumalo’s life will never be the same again.

“She has lost her arm. She has multiple cuts within the arm and a deep one which is here. She has another deep cut at the back and 8 wounds on the head for which one of them has fractured her skull. She has a big cut of the hand cutting through, with the hand handing on this piece of tissue. Her life will never be the same again. A teacher by profession, her life has been changed totally psychologically, functionally and all respect her life will be different,” says Dr Simango.