November 15 2007 at 10:59AM
By Rivonia Naidu
Roger Wright will forever be his family's biggest hero. And as he celebrated his 79th birthday on Wednesday, he was surrounded by his loving wife, Myra, his children, Julia Paterson, Simon Wright and Diane Whittaker, as well as most of his 10 grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
They described him as a great man with a strong will and fighting power.
Wright and his wife Myra were attacked in La Lucia on Monday night, when an intruder armed with a knife broke into their home on Wilden Place and attempted to rob the couple.
Wright's sheer determination and love for his family helped him fight off the armed attacker, who fled the scene.
However, Wright was seriously wounded in the chest and at the back of his neck as the intruder stabbed him several times.
He is now in ICU at St Augustine's Hospital, where he is recovering. Myra is traumatised and will receive counselling.
On Wednesday, with a traumatised Myra by her side, Whittaker said her dad was everyone's biggest hero.
"He's the greatest father ever. Our parents are the best, they're wonderful, loving and the most supportive parents," she said.
She said on the night they were attacked, her parents, who celebrated 55 years of marriage this year, were having a romantic candle-lit dinner when the intruder walked into their home.
"My mum said the evening started off so beautifully. She and my dad were enjoying their meal when my mom noticed the intruder, but because she couldn't do anything, my father got up and looked for him.
"The intruder then attacked my father from behind and a huge scuffle ensued. The intruder stabbed my father many times and he was bleeding profusely."
Whittaker said her mother then began screaming and the intruder went into the kitchen, picked her mother up and threw her across the room.
"The intruder flung my mother so hard that she hit her head on the fridge. He then tried to throttle her, but my father, although he was seriously injured, came back into the kitchen and pulled the man off my mother. I don't know what happened, but the man then ran away."
She said she was also thankful to her parents' neighbour, Anton Lailvaux.
"He saved my dad's life. He helped by trying to stop the bleeding and by calling the necessary emergency officials."
She said although the entire family was traumatised, they were grateful that her parents' lives were spared.
"They loved their home, I mean they lived in it for 35 years and I would have really hated it if their lives ended in a place that's so special to them.
Whittaker described her family as just another victim of crime in South Africa.
This article was originally published on page 6 of Daily News on November 15, 2007