Three years after little Jasmine Joseph’s face and head were almost ripped off by a jaguar, her relatives are still expressing their gratitude to the doctors and nurses at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) for saving her life.
They said that had it not been for the medical personnel at the hospital, the outcome might have been different. Today, Jasmine is as normal as any other child except for a mark across her forehead.
Her grandmother, Agatha Joseph said that Jasmine remembers very little of what had happened to her three years ago in their home village, Isseneru, Region Seven.
According to the older Joseph, her granddaughter only recalled that her uncle had chopped the jaguar with his cutlass. “She would tell me and her friends that jaguar attack her and that her uncle chop it up.”
The woman said that since Jasmine’s attack, they have never seen a jaguar in the village.
The little girl’s injuries were so severe that parts of her scalp were torn—that part was later recovered in their yard.
It was the jaguar’s second attack on her.
Because of her injuries, no one thought that she would have survived; not even her grandmother, especially since she was attached to a life support machine and was breathing through a ventilator for days.
The incident happened on December 27, 2013. Jasmine was air dashed to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) after being mauled by the feline creature.
She suffered from deep lacerations over her scalp, face and torso. Her skull and left side jaw were fractured. She underwent a plate implantation for a fractured skull.
Medical workers at the hospital had told this newspaper that the little girl was a fighter. They said that she survived the attack like a “champ.”
During her recovery stage at the hospital, little Jasmine told reporters, “He (jaguar) jump on me and I fall down.”
According to information received, the child was in her yard playing when the animal attacked her and dragged her into nearby bushes. Her uncle, who was in the house, heard her screams and rushed to her aid with a cutlass.
Assisted by neighbours, the man reportedly killed the animal before burning it. Workers from the Isseneru Health Centre came to the child’s aid, wrapping her wounds and rendering other basic assistance.
Back then, Agatha Joseph had told this newspaper that she left Jasmine and two other grandchildren with their aunt at home to attend a nearby church service.
“I left home like 07:00(am). We were going around the village to pray for sick people and around 09:00hrs we hear loud screams coming from across the river and we thought that them children went into a boat and fall in the water so we send somebody to check and then lil after them come back with my granddaughter in the boat.”
She was then taken to the GPHC.
Studies done internationally suggested that jaguar attacks on humans rarely occur in the wild and when they do, they are often fatal.
According to the report, hundreds of deaths are caused by large cat attacks annually worldwide.
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