Fort Worth

Father of girl attacked on her way to the bus: ‘She remembers’

Refugee’s daughter is attacked and now needs heart transplant

Twizere Buhinja fled war in Congo with his family. In April, his daughter, Dorika Uwimana, 13, was attacked and choked while waiting for a school bus. The injuries damaged her heart and lungs and left her in need of a heart transplant.
Up Next
Twizere Buhinja fled war in Congo with his family. In April, his daughter, Dorika Uwimana, 13, was attacked and choked while waiting for a school bus. The injuries damaged her heart and lungs and left her in need of a heart transplant.

A 13-year-old girl who was attacked at a school bus stop in southwest Fort Worth in April is recovering from heart transplant surgery at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas.

Dorika Uwimana underwent an eight-hour surgery on Monday and was improving on Wednesday morning, said her father, Twizere Buhinja.

Buhinja, who speaks limited English, said, “She’s doing good because Monday the doctor gave her a new heart. We were waiting for a long time, but already she has it.

“She’s feeling well,” Buhinja said. “Yesterday, she was weak. She’s talking, but her voice isn’t strong yet.”

Asked whether Dorika remembered much about the attack, Buhinja said, “She remembers, yeah. She remembers.”

Buhinja said his daughter is “still pretty upset” and that sometimes she wants to talk about the attack, but at other times does not.

Dorika was attacked on April 19 while walking to her school bus at Calmont Avenue and Laredo Drive in the Las Vegas Trail neighborhood in west Fort Worth, according to Fort Worth police.

Although she escaped her attacker, later identified as 36-year-old Terry Wayne King II, she was strangled for so long that the lack of oxygen flowing through her body left her heart damaged. She was later placed on a waiting list to receive a new heart.

“I have hope she’s going to get better,” Buhinja said. “But she’s going to use medicine forever.”

He said he has essentially been living at the hospital since the attack.

“My family is doing well and we have hope,” he said.

A 12-year-old girl is in the hospital awaiting a new heart to repair the damage done to her heart during a brutal attack she endured while walking to a school bus. Her father said she is walking now, but remains in serious condition.

King was arrested on July 17 in Oklahoma and is currently awaiting transport to Tarrant County, where he faces a charge of injury to a child causing serious bodily injury. If convicted, he could receive life in prison.

In 1996, Buhinja fled violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and settled in a refugee camp in Uganda. He later traveled with his family to the United States and have lived in Fort Worth for less than two years.

Now the family is facing rising medical bills in the aftermath of the seemingly random attack on Dorika.

The family has set up a GoFundMe page with a goal of $25,000 to help cover Dorika’s medical and other expenses. As of Tuesday night, contributors had raised just over $3,900.

The Fort Worth Police Department has released a second surveillance camera video of a person of interest in an attack on a 13-year-old girl at a school bus stop in west Fort Worth on April 19.

Prescotte Stokes III: 817-390-7028, @PrescotteStokes
Related stories from Fort Worth Star Telegram

  Comments