2012 Delhi gang rape verdict: ‘She survived 13 days because she was tough,’ says doctor who treated victim

Hindustan Times | By
May 05, 2017 02:46 PM IST

Given the nature of her injuries, it was a foregone conclusion she will not survive, says the doctor who treated the December 16 gang rape victim at night. The only thing that could have saved her was an intestinal transplant, but no one had ever attempted it.

”In my close to 40 years of experience as a surgeon, I have not come across more brutal assault on a person. It was man-made and irreparable,” Dr Sunil Jain told HT.

The bus in which the victim was gang raped on December 16, 2012.(Sonu Mehta/HT File)
The bus in which the victim was gang raped on December 16, 2012.(Sonu Mehta/HT File)

The Supreme Court on Friday awarded death sentence to all the four convicts in the case.

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As the head of the department of surgery at Safdarjung Hospital, Jain had operated upon the 23-year-old December 16 gang-rape victim.

Recalling the moment when he was called for the emergency case in the middle of the night on a Sunday, Dr Jain had said, “She had severe injuries to her private parts and abdomen, the magnitude of which we realized only when we wheeled her into the operation theatre.”

“It was a foregone conclusion from day one that she will not survive because of the nature of injuries.”

According to the team of doctors who treated her, the only thing that could have saved her was an intestinal transplant. Though it was the answer, no one had ever attempted it.

“Nobody had ever seen a transplant; we had only read about it in medical textbooks,” Dr Jain had said.

The doctors had not expected her to survive for long because of the extent of injuries, but the strong-willed girl sustained in that critical condition for nearly two weeks.

“She was otherwise a healthy woman and her body reserves were good. Mentally, too, she was very tough. She knew she wouldn’t survive but still would keep repeating that if she survived, she would like to complete her course,” said Dr Jain.

Just 10 days after the assault, she narrated her ordeal verbatim to the magistrate speaks a lot about her strength and determination. Despite the injuries that should have killed her instantly, she survived 13 days, felt the doctors.

Doctors are not supposed to get emotional about their patients, but most of the doctors who handled her, feel she was a case they would remember all their life.

“She was a bold young woman but her boldness could not pull her out of her trauma,” said Dr Jain.


    Rhythma Kaul works as an assistant editor at Hindustan Times. She covers health and related topics, including ministry of health and family welfare, government of India.

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