By Jihaan Opperman

In December 2021, Tristan Kelly, a fit multi-sport athlete, was attacked by a Nyala bull during his family getaway. The attack occurred while taking his daughter for a walk in a camp near the Timbavati Wildlife Park in the Kruger National Park.

The bull attacked him out of nowhere, and with the first attack, the bull’s horn went straight through his calve. “At this point, I threw my kid into the bushes”, says Tristan. The animal did not give up and came back for a second attack. “The second time, the horns gored through my stomach area, and punctured my iliac vein and caused severe internal bleeding”, says Tristan.

He was rushed to hospital, and they discovered brisk bleeding from the abdomen area. According to the general surgeon, the bleeding was controlled with direct pressure; however, it flared up again because of a defect through the iliac vein, which was shredded and kept bleeding. Tristan lost a considerable amount of blood and received 5 units of red pack cells, 5 units of fresh frozen plasma and 6 units of cryoprecipitate.

One month after surviving this tragic incident, Tristan felt that he needed to give back and researched the need of blood in the Western Cape. “I discovered that there is a huge shortage of blood and it made me feel guilty that I’ve taken from the system; I felt obliged to give back”, says Tristan.

Unfortunately, at this moment he cannot donate blood himself but he reached out to WCBS to host a blood donation clinic at Kelfords Ford Motors in Somerset West, where he is the Managing Director. They had their first blood donation clinic on Friday, 8 April and we welcomed a total of 28 new donors and collected a total of 36 valid units.