Friend meets rape victim, says you’ll be fine

Taken off the ventilator for the first time since she was brought to Safdarjung hospital after being gangraped and tortured last Sunday, the 23-year-old woman asked her family to call her friend who was also assaulted and thrown out of the bus with her. He came to the ICU on Thursday night and met her, her brother said.

"She said she wanted to see him once. He is not known to the family, so we did not call him. She kept requesting. We told the police and they finally brought him around 9.30 pm on Thursday," the woman's brother said.

"He was here with my mother for 15 minutes. My sister said he told her all the accused had been caught, and she was happy. We have been told to keep her cheerful. She said he told her she would get better soon," the brother said.

The woman's friend is a 28-year-old software engineer. He was badly beaten on board the bus while she was being gangraped. They were later thrown out of the bus.

Although she has been taken off ventilator support, the woman's condition remains a concern. Doctors said her jaundice has increased, compromising liver function, and there has been a sharp drop in her white blood cell count, indicating increased infection in the body.

Dr B D Athani, medical superintendent of the hospital, said: "The total leukocyte count , which is basically a measure of white blood cells, has dropped to 1,500 against a normal count of at least 4,000. This shows infection levels are rising."

Dr M C Misra, AIIMS trauma centre chief, said: "That she is breathing on her own and is haemodynamically stable is a positive sign. Our biggest worry, however, is her compromised liver function and the drop in WBC count."

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