Snatch thief slices off doctor's thumb

PETALING JAYA (July 17, 2013): When Dr Delaila Ahmad (pix) faced off with a snatch thief outside her clinic at 1.20am on Tuesday, she never thought that she would have to undergo 12 hours of surgery to re-attach her left thumb and treat a fractured wrist and the many lacerations that the fiend had inflicted on her.

The 57-year-old obstetrician and gynaecologist (pix) did the natural thing when she turned around on hearing a soft "hello" only to regret her action as the heartless brute sliced off her thumb, leaving her slumped beside her car in excruciating pain.

It was only when her screams for help brought out a staff member at the clinic that the thief fled with an accomplice on a motorcycle, but not before rifling through her handbag to take RM3,750 which represented part of the clinic's collections for the day.

The staff member quickly telephoned her husband, who was on the way to fetch her, to rush over to take Delaila to the Sime Darby Medical Centre in Subang Jaya, where she is also a consultant.

It is understood that the staff member's husband, who arrived shortly after, found the thumb beside Delaila and placed it in a plastic bag before taking her to the hospital.

Family members were keeping vigil outside the ICU at the hospital today as doctors tried their best to ensure that the operation to re-attach the thumb would be successful.

It is understood that doctors had to give Delaila four pints of blood as she had bled profusely from the wound.

"She is alright now and has awoken from her sedation," a source said, adding that no one is allowed into the ICU on doctors' orders.

Two of Delaila's children – a son who is studying in India and a daughter studying in the United Kingdom – flew in to be with their mother on hearing of the incident. Another son, who is a doctor in Slim River, also rushed back.

"She had just finished counting the money and was about to go home when the incident occurred. Perhaps the robbers had been targeting her," a source close to the victim said.

Subang Jaya police chief ACP Yahaya Ramli said police had identified the thief who had slashed Delaila and were on the hunt for him.

It is believed that the thief's tactic was similar to that of the person involved in another incident recently and police had obtained a photo-fit of the man.

Meanwhile, those who knew Delaila said she is an expert in her field, highly-praised and well-loved by her patients and peers.