Rani Ganapathy (53) was a victim of greed. She lost her gold chain to her assailant who also slashed her throat to prevent her from shouting for help. More than three months later, Rani is back to leading a normal life, intent on getting back her voice.
Rani was in her shop, Kani Fancy Store - which sells stationery and knick knacks – on March 14 when a man walked in, asked for chocolates, a pen and then an eraser. With the power supply being suspended for the day, the shop was in darkness. As Rani was trying to take out a tray containing erasers, he jumped over the counter and grabbed her chain. When she tried to shout for help, he slashed her neck and escaped with the chain.
People in the neighbouring shops found Rani’s bleeding supine body outside the shop and informed her daughter Sudha. “We put her in an autorickshaw and took her to Apollo Hospital in Tondiarpet from where she was shifted to the main hospital on Greams Road,” Sudha recalled.
ENT surgeon M. Babu Manohar realised that the knife had sliced Rani’s food pipe, wind pipe and voice box besides nerves and blood vessels. “The injury started in front of the ear and went through the throat to the other side of the face. The voice box was sliced into two and the top end of the food pipe was cut. During a four-hour surgery we patched up the nerves, veins and the voice box to restore her speech. The upper part of the food pipe was reconstructed. An additional surgery rectified the paralysis on her face,” the surgeon said. Rani was discharged from the hospital on April 16.
“I began speaking a month after the operation,” Rani recalled. “My voice is still feeble. I don’t remember how I came out of the shop.” She said the police showed her several photographs but she could not identify the culprit.
Keywords: chain theft