Teen in NYC from Ecuador for bullet removal

February 20, 2012 2:15:17 PM PST
A teenager from Ecuador is in New York and doctors are trying to figure out whether they can remove a bullet that is lodged in her head.

The 16-year-old was shot in 2009 and has been living with the bullet ever since.

From the Andes Mountains of South America, to the Upper East Side of Manhattan, Gladys Pomavilla is determined to get her vision back.

"The pellets entered her skull and lodged there," Juan Pomavilla, Gladys' father said, "It was an accident."

Juan lives with his wife and eight children on a farm in Ecuador. It's where Gladys was nearly killed when her little brother found the landowner's shotgun and pulled the trigger.

The blast left Gladys blind and her father says Ecuadoran hospitals were unable to help.

When Joe Occhipinti learned of the case, his organization "The National Police Defense Foundation" arranged humanitarian visas to bring her to New York.

12-year-old Lillian Pravda, whose own vision was restored, helped arrange the medical care through her foundation "Vision for and from Children."

Her surgeon, Brian Campolattaro, is taking the case free of charge.

Monday, he scheduled Gladys for an ultrasound imaging in a crucial first step.

Her family is realistic, they know that Gladys faces an uncertain future.

But, they're trying to be upbeat because things are not nearly as bleak as they were just 48 hours ago.

For information on how to donate to help with Gladys' medical care or accomodations and travel expenses please visit: www.NPDF.org
The National Police Defense Foundation

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