A THREE-year-old boy may have permanent brain damage after he and his mum were attacked by a giraffe.\r\nFinn Williams and his mother Katy, 35,\u00a0are fighting for their lives after being trampled near their home at a\u00a0South African nature reserve.\r\nFinn's dad, Brit scientist Dr Sam Williams, tried desperately to chase off the animal.\r\nThey pair were airlifted to hospital with docs working to release pressure on Finn's brain.\r\n\u00a0\r\nSam\u2019s aunt, Anne Oliver, said: "We understand that Finn had an operation to remove a blood clot on the brain.\r\n"We\u2019ve been told that he will have brain damage."\r\nShe added: "The last we heard was that Katy was having surgery and she is in an induced coma. She\u2019s got multiple injuries."\r\nBoth patients are in a critical but stable condition at hospital in Johannesburg yesterday.\r\n\u00a0\r\nBlyde Wildlife Estate is a gated reserve with 154 homes protected by electric fencing and security guards.\r\nThe devastated dad, 36, said\u00a0it was a "difficult time" and called the attack "an unfortunate act of nature where the giraffe saw his wife and son as a threat to her young one".\r\nThe attack comes just months after a cameraman died after being headbutted by a giraffe while working on TV drama Wild At Heart.\r\nHusband Sam was returning home from work around 6pm on Monday evening and saw his US born wife and son under being viciously attacked.\r\nSam, a scientist who works alongside his wife on the reserve, then called for emergency services and the Hoedspruit Medical Rescue team raced to the scene.\r\nThe giraffe, which had a two month old calf with it, is believed to have attacked the young mum and her son because it felt under threat when they surprised her.\r\nA source at the Blyde Wildlife Reserve said: "Sam often goes for a run after work and I was told Katy and Finn were waiting for him to come back when they surprised a giraffe.\r\n"The giraffe was with a calf and attacked them very seriously. They were very badly injured and Katy was doing all she could to protect Finn but the giraffe just towered over them."\r\nThey continued: "Sam was finishing his run and saw what was happening and managed to chase the giraffe off. His wife and child were covered in blood - you can imagine the trauma he felt."\r\nHe managed to get medical attention for them both and they were driven to an airfield where they medical experts did they best they could until they were airlifted to Johannesburg.\r\nThe source continued: "Everyone is crossing everything for the family - they are very well loved and everyone is shocked".\r\nDr Sam Williams confirmed in an update through his lawyer on Thursday that several doctors had operated on his wife at Busamed Modderfontein Private Hospital in Johannesburg.\r\nLawyer Marina Botha said: \u201cThe operation to attend to multiple injuries sustained during the attack from the giraffe was completed during the early hours of this morning.\r\n\u201cDr Sam Williams would like to thank all doctors and medical personal from the hospital for their efforts to give his wife and son the best chance to heal.\r\n\u201cBoth mother and son are still in a critical but stable condition. The family said that they have decided to take one day at a time and to remain positive\u201d said the statement.\r\nMs Botha said Dr Williams regards the attack as an "unfortunate act of nature".\r\nShe said: "He understands the giraffe saw his wife as a threat to her young one," the lawyer said.\r\nOn Facebook, Katy's father Jack Standish said he felt "helpless" as his daughter and grandson are in hospital.\r\nHe said: "Please send all your prayers and love to Katy, Finn and Sam...\u00a0Thank the hundreds if not thousands of loving people who have send greetings of hope and prayers to me or my family.\r\n"Thank you from a father who feels useless in not helping is wonderful daughter and loving Grandson."\r\nThe attack was just 150 yards from the home where the two scientists - with post PhD experience in animal-related fields - live and work on the reserve.\r\nA spokesman for ER24 who sent out two air ambulance helicopters confirmed both Katy and Finn had suffered "numerous serious injuries" and were taken to hospital in Johannesburg in a critical condition.\r\nFinn was the first to be airlifted by the ER24 helicopter to Busamed Modderfontein Hospital in Johannesburg and his mother then followed shortly in the second helicopter.\r\nAn operation was performed on Finn during the early hours of Tuesday morning to release pressure on his brain due to injuries sustained in the near deadly attack.\r\nThe manager of Blyde Wildlife Estate Riaan Cilliers confirmed the incident and said: \u201cWe are all in shock about this very sad incident and we ensure the family that they are in our prayers\u201d.\r\nMr Cilliers confirmed that the giraffe in question has a two-month-old calf, which may have had an influence on her behaviour and may have been surprised by the mother and son.\r\nAccording to\u00a0local media, the giraffe could be moved to a new reserve following the attack.\r\nThe family has asked the public and media to kindly respect their privacy during \u201cthis very difficult time\u201d that they are going through.\r\nEarlier this year at cameraman on British TV show Wild at Heart was killed by a giraffe as he filmed at the Glen Africa game reserve in Broederstroom in North West Province.\r\nSouth African film maker Carlos Carvalho, 47, was knocked 16 feet through the air when the giraffe slammed into him with his neck and died of his injuries later in hospital.\r\nThe TV series featuring a British family running an animal hospital in the African bush was filmed at Glen Africa for many years and Mr Carvalho had worked on most episodes.\r\nThe giraffe that killed him was said to have attacked others in the past.\r\nGiraffes grow up to 19 feet tall, can weigh over a ton and are the world\u2019s tallest mammal.\r\nMales can become aggressive in mating season and females can be aggressive when protecting their young.