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Archer Shivangini could have become quadriplegic if someone pulled out the arrow

Published Jan 10, 2020, 3:53 pm IST
Updated Jan 10, 2020, 3:53 pm IST
The Assam archer had a tough time as the arrow remained stuck for more than a day
Shivangini Gohain
 Shivangini Gohain

New Delhi: Injured Assam archer Shivangini Gohain underwent a critical surgery at the AIIMS. Dr. Deepak Gupta, professor of Pediatric neurosurgery at AIIMS, revealed about the delicate nature of the procedure and said there was no room for error.

"It was touching vertebral artery which supplies blood to the brain stem. The arrow was 0.5 cm in front of the spinal cord and the child could have become quadriplegic if someone tried to pull it out," Gupta said.


According to doctors, the arrow accidentally went inside the body damaging the shoulder bone, part of the neck, spinal cord and left lung.

Dr Gupta said, "Now the patient is fine. We had planned the surgery in a very unique way. Last whole night, our team was doing the planning and plotting to conduct this complex surgery. About 15 cm part of the arrow was inside the body which has entered through shoulder bone and affected neck, spinal cord and left lung".

"We started the surgery in the morning at 6 am which lasted for three and a half hours. We have successfully removed the arrow. The patient is stable now and shifted to ICU for observation," he added


Shivangini Gohain, the 12-year-old Assam archer who was impaled by an arrow shot accidentally at the SAI centre in Dibrugarh, was training unsupervised and the mishap was a result of negligence by the local coach and officials, the state's archery association has said.

The child was training at the Dakha Devi Rasiwasia College at Chabua, which serves as an extension centre under the Sports Authority of India (SAI) Regional Centre in Guwahati when the incident took place on Wednesday.

She was airlifted to Delhi on Thursday night and admitted to the AIIMS Trauma Centre. Pulin Das, a joint secretary of Assam Archery Association and executive member of the state Olympic association said the injury to the school girl from the Deodhai village, which is 3km from Chabua, happened as the trainees were practising without any coach and other officials.


“There is a SAI contractual coach Marcy and he has left for the Khelo India Games in Guwahati. He didn't instruct the trainees to stop the camp for some time nor did the college principal, who acted as administrator of the extension centre, looked after the practice,” Das said on Friday.

The extension centre has 11 trainees, six boys and five girls, and they were training under SAI contractual coach A C Marcy from Nagaland, who is in Guwahati for the Khelo India Youth Games.

“The training ground itself is in very bad shape, it was not even a dedicated ground for archery training, some play football, cricket and other sports on that ground. But the worst part is that the SAI coach did not give instructions to stop the camp for a while and the archers were training without any supervision,” he added Das said Gohain was struck by an arrow shot by boys doing practice for compound event. The arrow remained stuck for more more than a day before she was airlifted to New Delhi on Thursday night.


“There was nobody to look after the archers, they were training on their own though their parents were outside the ground. An arrow shot by a boy trainee who was doing compound event practice hit her on the shoulder,” the official said.

Gohain's father Brinchi Gohain was outside the practice area and with no official of the college and SAI coming for help, she was taken to Assam Medical College in Dibrugarh, 33km from Chabua.

“She could reach the AMC in Dribugarh only on Thursday morning. There, the doctors told her parents to take her to a more reputed hospital like AIIMS in Delhi. With help from people close to the local Member of Parliament and Assam CM himself, she was taken by air ambulance to Delhi.


“I was told that she had a very tough time as the arrow remained stuck for more than a day. She is a strong-willed girl and she fought. Her father must be a daily wage labourer and he was distraught also.”

The SAI said that it will bear all the expenses of her treatment. The Assam Archery Association has contributed Rs 20,000 towards her treatment.

Location: India, Delhi, Delhi