Saturday, 24 February 2007

Robber paralyses sportsman

21/02/2007 23:32 - (SA)

Hilda Fourie, Beeld

Pretoria - Leoné Pitts, of Waterkloof Glen doesn't have the strength to be angry about husband Fred being paralysed from the waist down after an armed robbery on Tuesday.

"I just feel sore and empty," she said on Wednesday.

Pitts, a 53-year-old engineer, was going to gym about 04:30 on Tuesday.

He went to close his garage door after taking out his car and was attacked by two robbers.

He said from his hospital bed in Pretoria East Hospital: "I was just closing the door when two youngsters, I guess they were about 20 years old, walked in.

"One had a pistol and the other a knife. I shouted, in an attempt to scare them off, because my wife was asleep in the house."

Was left lying there

"Then I heard a shot, immediately felt numb and fell.

"The robbers turned around, walked casually to my car and took my cellphone, laptop and wallet before leaving."

The bullet went through his shoulder-blade, ribs, both lungs and spinal cord.

He lay there for 20 minutes before two neighbours drove past, saw him lying on the floor with the garage open, and phoned his wife. Pitts was conscious throughout.

Leoné Pitts said she was sleeping when the call came.

"They first asked if I was OK, and then said phone the ambulance, your husband has been shot."

Will never walk again

Pitts, who played provincial squash and had done the Argus Cycling tour four times, underwent an operation to remove the splinters from his spinal cord on Wednesday.

Pitts said her husband's condition was stable, even though he was paralysed from the waist down.

"Fred has the most beautiful legs.

I fell in love with those legs, and now they'll never walk again."


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