Riaan van Zyl
2 minute read
9 May 2018
12:51 pm

Butchery robbery victim recovering well after being shot at point-blank range

Riaan van Zyl

A 38-year-old woman who was shot in the head during an armed robbery is making a miraculous recovery in hospital.

Riette van der Merwe in hospital. (Photo supplied)

The family of Riette van der Merwe, who was shot at point blank range twice during an armed robbery on 23 April, is elated as it seems Van der Merwe is rapidly recovering, Roodepoort Record reports.

Her sister, Susan Button, told the Roodepoort Record that the tube that measures her sister’s intracranial pressure has been removed, but that the drain in her cranial cavity remains as a precautionary measure. According to the neurologist, this means that her condition has stabilised. Yesterday evening (8 May) her temperature was at a normal 36°. She is also attempting to swallow on her own.

READ MORE: VIDEO: Woman shot in head during armed robbery

Riette was shot at point blank range during an armed robbery at Manny’s Meat Market in Newlands, Johannesburg, on 23 April.

CCTV footage shows that she put up a fight with one of the armed robbers before being shot at point blank range.

The robbers fled without taking any money.

“Last night we saw the most positive signs. I spent 10 minutes alone with her and told her I loved her and that I am sorry I had not said it enough. When I started crying, she opened her eyes, and despite being in an induced coma, she also started crying,” said an emotional Button.

“I also told her to blink once for ‘no’ and twice for ‘yes’, which she now does,” said Button.

Van der Merwe’s medication will gradually be reduced in order to wake her from the coma.

The neurologist told the family he has never seen someone recover so quickly from this type of trauma. The two bullets, one lodged in her skull and one in her spine, will also not be removed, since the doctor says it will not affect her quality of life in the future.

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