Irene was treated at a military hospital. SUR
The family of 33-year-old Malaga nurse Irene Simón Donaire are still trying to get over the shock of the news that she was seriously injured in an unexplained attack at Guangzhou airport, China, on Monday.
Irene’s husband Mariano Gil Barroso explained that the couple were waiting for their flight home after a business trip - he owns firms that import goods from China - when the incident took place.
“She was attacked from behind while she was playing with her mobile in the airport hall. We think it was an axe or a katana. It has taken the doctors more than eight hours of surgery to reconstruct blood vessels, veins, arteries, muscles, as well as grafting part of an index finger that had been severed. She also needed skin grafts on her scalp, as she was struck three times on the head,” said the victim’s husband.
After the attack, according to the family, Irene applied a tourniquet herself as she was not treated at the airport’s first aid post. She was then taken to the Heping Showwaike military hospital where doctors have advised her to stay for five to ten days more.
Irene explained how the worst injuries were to her arm. “He was going to kill me so I tried to defend myself with my right arm,” she told SUR.
Meanwhile back in Malaga, Irene’s mother, María Dolores Donaire has unsuccessfully tried to get a visa to travel to be with her daughter, who has an eight month old baby being cared for by her family inSpain.
“My daughter told me that the attacker meant to kill her, that the person was trying to cut her throat. They try to calm me down but I know my daughter needs me,” said María Dolores.
“Her condition is stable but at the moment we don’t plan to go home. The doctors who have saved my wife insist that she must stay here,” continued Irene’s husband, who added that they had had to pay 28,000 euros for the doctors to operate.
“I’ve been travelling to China on business for 17 years and I’ve never had a problem. I first came in 1996 and for the last few years have rented a house here because I spend about a third of the year in China,” added Mariano Gil.
According to Gil Irene’s attacker was a “drunk tramp”, who arrived at the airport with a knife with a 30 centimetre blade.
He apparently fell down some airport steps while trying to escape after the attack and fell unconscious.
“The police have told us that the attacker has regained consciousness and has been in custody since the first day, and that he will be charged with attempted murder,” said Gil.
Irene’s husband added that the police had said that the attack was not premeditated and the victim just happened to be Irene, but “it could have been anyone”.
While the couple will follow doctors’ advice and remain in China for a few days, they are keen to return to Spain as soon as possible.
“We are interested to get the opinion of Spanish doctors,” said Gil Barroso.