Woman shot in face by armed robber receives first surgery
MIAMI (WSVN) -- A South Florida woman shot in the face by a ruthless robber has been given a positive prognosis as she undergoes her first surgery.
Evelin Matamoros, a 36-year-old mother of two, had the first of three surgeries at about 7:30 a.m. Wednesday. She is facing a long and painful recovery, as she still has a bullet lodged inside her neck. The bullet is said to be located somewhere between her mouth and lower neck.
Matamoros has been recovering at Jackson Memorial Hospital since she was rushed there on Thursday.
Doctors revealed X-ray images of the bullet on Tuesday. She suffered a shattered jaw. Experts said Matamoros will need to undergo about three or four surgeries before a return to normalcy. "She will be able to chew," said Dr. Michael Peleg. "She will be able to open her mouth without any restrictions, and she will be able to get some of her teeth back that she lost, so she will be able to eat like a normal person."
Dr. Luis Gabriel Ruiz was the first to treat Matamoros when she arrived at the hospital. "She had a gunshot wound on the left side of her face, right underneath her eye," said Ruiz. "It was remarkable, not only because she was able to speak and answer all of the questions but because she was very calm."
For the first part of the surgery, doctors will install a custom titanium plate to the lower part of her jaw to bridge a gap that was left from where the bullet traveled from underneath the eye, into her mouth and down into her jaw.
Doctors will also try to remove parts of the shattered jaw and remains of the bullet that are still inside her. Doctors said there are dangers involved. "The main challenge is to be able to remove all of the fragments of bone from her neck," said Peleg. "The fragments are very close to vital structures, like the main blood vessel of the neck."
Matamoros was shot in the face by a man who police identified as 20-year-old Kamiah Lanier. Lanier shot Matamoros during an attempted purse-snatching last Thursday at a Chinese restaurant on Seventh Avenue and Northwest 53rd Street.
While the attempted robbery and shooting occurred outside of the restaurant, Matamoros' mother and two children witnessed it all from the inside of the car.
According to doctors, Matamoros can currently speak fairly clearly. However, she is on a liquid and soft food diet. Doctors expect her to make a full recovery within a year.
(Copyright 2013 by Sunbeam Television Corp. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)