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Sri Lanka attacks: Melbourne father's desperate plea to bring injured daughter home

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Exclusive: Ranjith Weerasinghe is pleading with Australian doctors to examine his daughter after she received serious injuries in the Sri Lanka terror attacks.

The father of a 28-year-old Australian woman injured in the Sri Lankan Easter Sunday terror attacks said he just wants to bring his daughter home to Melbourne as soon as possible.

The Melbourne-resident had been in Sri Lanka for a month and was in the last three days of her holiday when the blast hit the Kingsbury Hotel, where she was staying.

She suffered a broken leg and shrapnel wounds throughout her body, including in her lungs.

Ranjith Weerasinghe has told SBS News he just wants to bring his injured daughter home for medical care.
Ranjith Weerasinghe has told SBS News he just wants to bring his injured daughter home for medical care.
SBS News

"When I saw her situation, to recover 100 per cent I think it will take nearly one year," her father Ranjith Weerasinghe told SBS News from the National Hospital of Sri Lanka in Colombo.

"But we can't stay for that whole year. We want to transfer her as soon as possible to Melbourne."

He said she was currently unable to walk due to a series of fractures in her legs and has already undergone multiple surgeries, with more to come. 

Mr Weerasinghe said he flew the 40 hours from Australia to be with his wife, who was also holidaying in Sri Lanka and received minor injuries in the blast, and daughter as soon as he heard about the incident. 

Thr 28-year-old Melbourne resident is currently bedridden in Sri Lanka's national hospital, surrounded by scores of blast victims.
Thr 28-year-old Melbourne resident is currently bedridden in Sri Lanka's national hospital, surrounded by scores of blast victims.
SBS News

"The medical staff here are doing their best and other people are doing their best, but relative compared to the medical standards in Australia ... the conditions here are worse than Melbourne," he said.

"The only thing I want to do is get her back to Melbourne as soon as possible, but we have to wait for the medical advice and then there's the financial side."

He is pleading for an Australian doctor to examine his daughter in Sri Lanka until she is well enough able to fly home.

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Investigation into deadly blasts continues in Sri Lanka
Investigation into deadly blasts continues in Sri Lanka

At this point, the family does not know whether the transfer and medical care will be covered by insurance. 

The Australian High Commission in Sri Lanka has been visiting the family in the hospital each day, he said. 

The national hospital, where the 28-year-old is being treated, was forced to set up a triage centre outside the building to treat the 263 patients who presented on Sunday - the largest undertaking in the decade since Sri Lanka's civil war.

Dr Samiddhi Samarakoon said the hospital's response to Sunday's attacks was the largest undertaking since Sri Lanka's civil war.
Dr Samiddhi Samarakoon said the hospital's response to Sunday's attacks was the largest undertaking since Sri Lanka's civil war.
SBS News

On Wednesday, the death toll rose to more than 350, with another 500 listed as wounded following the blasts.

Dr Samiddhi Samarakoon, the deputy director of the national hospital, said within half an hour of the attack, about 50 patients were rushed in at once.

"We activated our disaster plan and all the consultants, nurses and medical officers and supporting staff were requested to be here," she said.

Two Australian citizens were killed in the horrific blasts, Manik Suriyaaratchi and her 10-year-old daughter Alexendria.

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One Easter Sunday attacker believed to have studied in Australia, Sri Lanka Deputy Defense Minister
One Easter Sunday attacker believed to have studied in Australia, Sri Lanka Deputy Defense Minister

On Wednesday, the Sri Lankan Defence Minister Ruwan Wijewardene said they were expecting to make further arrests as they investigate potential links between the perpetrators and IS.

Currently, 58 people have been apprehended in connection to the coordinated blasts.

Mr Wijewardene added that one of the suicide bombers had studied in Australia. 

"Some of them have studied in other countries. They hold degrees. We believe one of the suicide bombers studied in the UK, and [then] later on in Australia," he said.

The Easter Sunday bomb attacks targeted three churches and a series of high-end hotels.

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