PNG journalist recounts a brutal knife attack that nearly killed him and a colleague

Story by Jason Prince Wuri

One year later after the attack, it has been quite a heck of a journey. 

Having had both fingers on my right hand  slashed by thugs at Vanapa along Hiritano highway, I was returning from an assignment after visiting two stations in rural Goilala with the MP for Goilala William Samb. We landed by helicopter further down the highway and proceeded on a Toyota Landcrusier for Port Moresby. In the vehicle was Hon. Samb, his DDA CEO Titus Girau and two other gentlemen including colleague Clifford Faiparik and I. The vehicle was hit, we almost had an accident with a sudden thud and then stop, The CEO Girau got out to inspect the damage and question the three boys of Goilala origin who were on the road where we had stopped. We followed down, unknowingly to be ambushed from the bushes nearby by roughly more than 20 to 30 boys against just the six of us. The driver was Mr Samb who was doing tactical driving trying to scare the boys while they continued attacking the vehicle and the rest of us with sticks, stones and knives. That was around 4pm in broad day light. I was holding onto my camera stand which I used to defend myself and fight my way out. In the process they slashed through two fingers, the immediate feeling, I thought my hand had been chopped off, I felt a rush of blood flow down my arms onto my shirt and jeans, the numbness hit, I looked down and to my amazement I could literally see the bones on my fingers as they were cut open with a machete. You’ll be surprised, instantly my first thought was I’m never gonna play the guitar again then I quickly snapped as I realized the attackers were on a rampage with weapons as the surrounded us. With my bloody right hand in a mess and two broken bones exposed, I gathered up my last strength and fought my way out with the camera stand on my left hand and fled for the vehicle. My colleague brother Clifford Faiparik was also surrounded and slashed on the back of his right arm. The CEO was also punched and kicked as we struggled on to the vehcile. The drive back was one of sheer pain and agony  I’d rather forget. With every pothole we hit or the rough patches of the highway came with a groan from another place. Still I held on as the boys tried to stop the bleeding with my arms tilted upright. My big brother and Goilala MP Samb never drove with such urgency until that moment. Cut to the chase, an hour or so later, Cliff was stitched at Paradise hospital and I was treated there to stop the bleeding and my hand covered with wool and bandages before been transfered to Pom General to be admitted for operation. Due to the lack of bed space at the Emergency, I had to be sent home and returnd the next day on  independence day which was a Friday to be admitted in preparations for the operation. Two days later on Sunday 18th September  2016, I was operated upon with  two k-wires inserted into both broken finger bones. Both wires were removed six weeks later and I had gone for physio therapy for months on end.
The trials, struggles, pains, recovery  and the successes. I’m here because of God’s amazing grace!!! I have so many people to thank over the past one year, but my parents who have been my loyal supporters since day one, I owe them my life, my sisters and brothers they know who they are, my family, my SOUP bloods, Covenant Creed family, kindreds, my colleagues at NBC, the industry, my apa pajire Oro Governor Gary Juffa thanks for visiting and to all you wonderful friends and family here on FB. Thank you for the past one year and being part of my journey and road to recovery. It’s not over yet as I will go in for a minor surgery to correct the tendons slightly but that’s straight forward and I’ll keep youse posted. I can still play the guitar now, not as fluently but it’s a start. Yaaay! 🙂
Just an appreciation post and a review of the accident and my road to mark one year today 15th September since that fateful day. I’m never the same person. I’m abit more cautious and careful now with life and I appreciate the little things more each day. Situations happen to us when we least expect but it becomes the catalyst for change in ones life. The human spirit has enormous potential to overcome anything life throws at us. If I can overcome, you can too as individuals and as a nation. As President Obama would say “Yes we can”. Thank you all graciously!!
I now have a story to tell every independence when this day comes around this event will remind me of how fragile life can be. The experiences either make us or break us. But indeed through it all, Yahweh remains the God of the hills and the valleys!
Happy 42nd independence my beloved Papua New Guinea!! 

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