MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Doctors have released photographs of Ronald Poppo, more than two weeks after the homeless man had much of his face chewed off during an attack by so-called Causeway Cannibal Rudy Eugene over the Memorial Day weekend.
Doctors from Jackson Memorial Hospital told reporters Tuesday that Poppo is awake and alert and showed a photograph of Poppo walking down a hospital hallway, supported by hospital staff on either side of him. It’s not known when the picture was taken.
The photo shows the upper two-thirds of Poppo’s face covered in thick, bloody scabs. He’s missing his nose and both eye sockets are covered, one with gauze and one with what appears to be a skin graft.
“I’m pleased to say he’s doing well,” said Dr. Nicolas Namais.
Jackson doctors said they are hopeful Poppo may have some vision in the future, but said it’s still too early to tell.
His left eye is gone, it was gouged out during the attack, but his right eye is still there, said doctors at the Tuesday afternoon news conference.
Doctors said Poppo had a minor brain injury and two wounds that possibly came from the officers gun who shot Eugene to stop his attack. The object went in and out and broke two ribs.
Poppo is not taking any major medications, just antibiotics for a minor infection.
Doctors also revealed Poppo is concerned about the way the media has portrayed him, but he doesn’t listen to the news, only sports.
“He asked how media is portraying him,” said plastic surgeon Dr. Wrood Kassira. “We explained that he is a victim of violence.”
In fact, one of the things Poppo likes to talk about most is the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals. One doctor said before they left the room Poppo said, “Go Heat!”
Doctors said that 50-percent of Poppo’s face was chewed off, and not 75-percent as previously reported. They described him as very charming and positive and he can’t wait to go swimming again.
It was welcome news to Poppo’s brother Joseph.
“I’m very pleased. I’m very encouraged to know that he’s…he has his faculties and he’s ok with what they are doing for him,” said Joseph Poppo. “I can’t even fathom how one human can do that to another human. It’s just beyond my comprehension.”
Poppo has been at Jackson Memorial Hospital since he was attacked May 26 by Rudy Eugene, who moments earlier had been swinging naked on a nearby light pole.
A police officer shot and killed Eugene.
An autopsy revealed that Eugene had a number of undigested pills in his stomach, according to CBS4 news partner the Miami Herald.
CBS4’s Jim DeFede first reported that marijuana was also in Eugene’s system at the time of the attack. A more in-depth toxicology screen for any other possible drugs will take another couple of months to complete.
The Jackson Memorial Foundation has set up a fund to assist Poppo. So far they’ve raised $15,000.
Donations can be made through Neighbors 4 Neighbors by calling (305) 597-4404.
You can also make a donation through the Jackson Memorial Foundation website, www.jmf.org. 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: Ronald Poppo.
You may also write a check to Jackson Memorial Foundation and include Mr. Poppo’s name in the memo portion. Checks can be mailed to:
Jackson Memorial Foundation
Park Plaza East
901 N.W. 17th Street
Miami, FL 33136