A man whose quick reaction possibly saved the life of a woman, who was viciously stabbed by her estranged husband, and left to die on the streets of Apia, has broken his silence about the ordeal.
Pharmacist Lemalu Mathew Mualia, who was among the first to help the woman, has recalled the shocking ordeal in an email to the Samoa Observer where he wants to highlight two issues he finds extremely sickening.
“I can't express how sad I was for this young woman,” he told the Samoa Observer. “On the day of the incident, I ran to my Pharmacy to get gauze but when I got to get her, the people around her were just standing there.
“They were just taking pictures. Some of them were videoing what was happening while this young woman was dying.”
Nearly three weeks since the attack, Lemalu said he couldn’t fathom how people’s behaviour has changed from a country of loving helpers to a bunch of social media-hungry heartless people who were more concerned about their photos than the life of a woman who was dying with “no family around.”
“I tried my best to stabilize her while waiting for the ambulance,” Lemalu said.
“Her wounds we're horrific. I took her into the ambulance. I tried and asked her to say a prayer with me, which she did. ‘Jesus got my back,’ she whispered to me.
“It was an instinctive re- action that I ran over after finding out what happened to try and stabilise her neck wounds while we waited for the ambulance.
“The pictures alone are worth a thousand words, so I'll leave it there. This young woman suffered nine stab wounds on her neck and back plus lacerations.”
The woman has since recovered and has been discharged from the hospital.
Her estranged husband, who also stabbed himself later, has also been discharged, according to sources at the Police. He is likely to faces multiple charges when he recovers fully.
In the meantime, Lemalu said that having witnessed the horrific attack and the injuries, he has a message for all the women of Samoa.
“No woman has to be a victim of physical abuse from her husband or partner,” he said.
“For those women out there reading this and are going through physical, emotional, sexual or financial abuse in your marriage, I can only say this to you, ‘when you have to start compromising yourself or your morals for a husband or partner who is abusing you constantly - it's probably time to leave him. It might save your life.
“There is no safe way to remain in a relationship with a husband, partner, ex-husband or ex-partner with no conscience. The only solution is to escape. Women have to feel like they are not alone.”
Lemalu also wanted to acknowledge the work of the hospital staff.
“The young woman survived thanks to the excellent reaction response by the Director General of Health, Leausa Dr. Take Naseri , the Ambulance Drivers and excellent doctors and nurses who saved this young woman's life.”
Lastly, he said everyone should be grateful for the little things.
“No matter how good or bad you think life is, wake up each day and be thankful for life. Somewhere in this world, someone else is fighting to live.
“I hope that by sharing this story that it helps save the life of at least one woman this year.”