Woman shot in face: 'It was so scary'

Metallic plate placed in Evelin Matamoros' jaw, bullet removed from her neck

MIAMI - A woman shot in the face during a robbery spoke with the media.

"It was so scary," said Evelin Matamoros.

Matamoros was shot as she left Cafe Ruyi restaurant in Miami on Jan. 24, say police. Doctors released X-rays showing a bullet lodged in her neck.

Matamoros and her husband spoke with the media Monday.

"I feel so blessed because I have a second life," said Matamoros. "I was thinking about never, never, never close my eyes. I have to live for my daughters, for my family."

Matamoros had a feeding tube attached to her nose and stitches lined her neck and jaw.

"It's a matter of just a couple of millimeters of deviation of the bullet and you end up in a very difficult or different scenario," said Dr. Michael Peleg, a UM/Jackson oral and maxillofacial surgeon.

Doctors placed a metallic plate in her jaw during a seven hour surgery last week. They also removed the bullet without complications.

Dr. Gabriel Ruiz, clinical instructor of surgery at Ryder Trauma Center treated Matamoros, 36, when she arrived at Jackson Memorial Hospital. He said the bullet glanced off her cheek bone, traveled through her mouth, fractured her lower jaw, and then lodged itself in her neck. The bullet even flipped one of her teeth upside down.

Ruiz said Matamoros stayed calm throughout the ordeal and helped detectives identify the shooting suspect from a lineup. Police arrested 20-year-old Kamiah Lanier that night, charging him with one count of armed robbery with a firearm, one count of attempted murder, one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and one count of use of firearm during the commission of a felony.  

Doctors say Matamoros will likely need three or four surgeries, but they expect her to make a full recovery. They added that her recovery could last a year.

The Jackson Memorial Foundation has set up a fund to assist Matamoros. Anyone interested can make a donation through the Jackson Memorial Foundation website. To make a contribution, click the "Take Action Now" tab, and then click on donations. Once you are on the donation page, select "other" in the contribution details section and input: Evelin Matamoros.

You may also write a check to Jackson Memorial Foundation and include Matamoros' name in the memo portion. Checks can be mailed to:

Jackson Memorial Foundation
Park Plaza East, Suite G
901 N.W. 17th Street
Miami, FL 33136.

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