Wife of Christchurch shooting survivor thought he was in a road accident, Latest World News - The New Paper

Wife of Christchurch shooting survivor thought he was in a road accident

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CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND :  Lying outside a Christchurch mosque, bleeding from a gunshot wound after a bullet tore through his chest, Mr Abbas Tahir Endrise was unable to muster any words in what he feared was a final phone call to his pregnant wife.

Now after intensive work by doctors, he can breathe unassisted and squeeze her hand.

Mr Abbas is one of 31 wounded survivors of Friday's massacre being treated at the city's hospital where medical staff have worked around the clock to repair shattered bodies.

Ms Zeynia Endrise said she was at home cooking on Friday when her phone rang, displaying her husband's number.

All she could hear was someone having difficulty breathing, desperately attempting speech.

"He was trying to call, to talk to me but he couldn't," she told AFP outside the hospital where she has kept a vigil by her husband's bedside, willing him to survive for their two-year-old son Rayyan and another baby on the way in June.

She initially thought he had been in a road accident, given he walked to the Al Noor mosque every Friday for weekly prayers.

Mr Abbas had been standing in the front row of worshippers, close to the door where the gunman, a self-confessed white supremacist, burst in and sprayed semi-automatic rifle fire, according to a witness.

One of the bullets struck Mr Abbas in his side, smashing through his ribs, tearing through the right lung and exiting out of his shoulder.

Another bullet passed so close to his head that it grazed his right ear. - AFP