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Estefanía: lost an eye to New Year's bullet. Estefanía: victim of a stray bullet.

Girl, 11, loses eye to stray New Year’s bullet

She was asleep when the bullet came through the ceiling and struck her cheekbone

An 11-year-old Sonora girl has lost the sight in one eye after being hit by a stray bullet on New Year’s Eve.

Estefanía García was asleep in the living room of her Agua Prieta home when the unexpected projectile came through the ceiling and struck her right cheekbone before lodging close to her brain.

The girl’s mother, Alma Ávila, told the newspaper El Universal that after making tamales and enjoying a family dinner, she and her daughter lay down on a mattress in the living room to watch television before they both drifted off to sleep.

Ávila recalled hearing shouting, rockets and other noise associated with New Year’s revelry between dreams but after one particularly loud noise her daughter started shaking her while saying: “Mom, Mom, wake up.”

After turning on the light she saw that her daughter was bleeding from the mouth and nose.

“I grabbed her desperately, sat her in a chair and began to do a thousand things,” she said.

“I ran out for help, I prayed to heaven for someone to come by but nobody did, she said to me, ‘mom, don’t go out, something might happen to you, I’m okay, don’t worry.’”

Ávila then called for an ambulance, which took Estefanía to the Agua Prieta General Hospital where an X-ray confirmed the location of the bullet in her head.

“The doctor told me that it was serious [and] that they couldn’t operate on her there . . .” Ávila said.

The minor was subsequently transferred to the Children’s Hospital in the state capital Hermosillo, a journey of 380 kilometers from the border city.

After arriving in the early hours of January 1, Estefanía was examined and underwent an operation to remove the bullet. The attending doctor said it was a miracle that she hadn’t gone into a coma.

Estefanía was discharged on January 8 but remains frightened by what happened and will require ongoing psychological support, her mother said.

She also called on people to not celebrate occasions such as New Year’s Eve by firing guns into the air.

“It could happen to you too, everything that goes up comes down,” she said.

According to a report from the C4 state security control center, 11 people were injured by stray bullets during new year celebrations in Sonora, including four minors.

Source: El Universal (sp)

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