So they had, at first, virtually ambled along the tracks that Paul had been following. Only when Paul called again and they heard the anguish in his voice, did they break into a run. They were shocked rigid when they came upon him and saw all the blood.
“I thought you had darted the rhino, and that you were safely up a tree,” Dave admitted honestly when he reached Paul, thus excusing his and Kapesa’s tardy response to Paul’s initial call for help.
Soon both Kapesa and Dave had their hands covered in Paul’s blood as they strove to stem the copious flow. A bandage from the drug pack that Kapesa carried, was applied high up on the injured limb. Dave inserted a stick under the bandage and twisted it tightly. It was the only tourniquet he had at his disposal. They both then busied themselves addressing the enormous gaping wounds.
Paul’s wife had made several flat, cotton-wool packed bags from canvas bank money bags. She had followed the simple design that my own wife, Babs, had conjured up for me after Rupert Fothergill had been gored in ‘65. They were wound-packers and blood-stoppers for use in just such an emergency.
Babs had anticipated that if anyone had a rhino horn poked into them, the wound would be wide and deep. It would then require a substantial wad of something that could be packed into it to stop the bleeding.
Dave made cones out of two of the four dirty cloth wound packs in Paul’s drug pack, pushing one deep into the front wound, and the other into the larger cavity at the back. Paul endured these painful intrusions stoically. Dave used the other two packs as padding on top. He bound the entire thigh with wide crepe bandages which, fortunately, had been included in the drug box.
The packs and the bandages stemmed the flow of blood. However, Dave could not be sure the blood was not just being absorbed by the cotton wool inside the bags. He now had to get Paul proper medical attention as a matter of urgency.
It was at about this time that Paul started to experience pain and it grew ever more intense as the minutes ticked by.
Having, at least temporarily, stopped the bleeding, Dave took out a tube of omnopon (morphine) from the drug pack. He unscrewed the needle cover and plunged the needle into Paul’s good leg and squeezed the tube until it was flat.
Dave could then turn his mind to other things. He tried to raise Graham Hall, back in the camp, on the mobile radio. All he got was a loud, crackling response. Their position amongst the hills, and in the jesse, had rendered their mobile set temporarily useless.
He looked at Paul with great concern. Paul was already white as a sheet from shock and loss of blood, so Dave knew that, if his friend was going to survive that day’s ordeal, he would have to get him expert medical attention quickly.