Posted: Dec 21, 2011 12:56 PM
Updated: Dec 21, 2011 1:14 PM
MCALLEN - One of the Harwell Middle School students shot outside his school should be out of the hospital before Christmas. His doctors held a press conference Wednesday at the Rio Grande Regional Hospital and said they expect him to fully recover.
Fourteen-year-old Edson Amaro is stable and walking around his hospital room just more than a week after he was shot outside the school.
Doctors say this is remarkable considering how severe the gunshot wound was. They needed to remove a kidney because the bullet caused significant damage. Amaro was shot in the back. The bullet went through a major vein, his kidney, liver and intestines. A surgeon removed the bullet from the stomach wall.
Doctors say the bullet came extremely close to his spinal cord but did not cause any damage. They expect Amaro to be just fine, but it will take some time for him to be back to normal.
"It's probably one of the worst I've ever seen here in the Valley. It required massive blood transfusions. To give a pediatric kid 10 units of blood quickly is not an easy feat. He's really lucky to be alive with these types of injuries that he sustained," says Dr. Ricardo Salinas, the anesthesiologist.
Amaro's family did not talk at Wednesday's press conference, but his dad released this statement:
"This has been a terrifying and exhausting week for my son and I and at this time, I am grateful to God, the doctors and the staff of this hospital for helping save my son's life. I know Edson has a long recovery road in front of him, but in the meantime, I am thankful that he is recovering nicely and we look forward to the possibility of spending the holidays at home."
His dad also said in a statement that Amaro's mom died seven years ago. He knows she's been helping him through this recovery process.
The other victim in the shooting faces a longer recovery. Seventh grader Nicholas Tijerina can't move his legs. Doctors say it's too early to tell if he will regain use of them.
The bullet damaged Tijerina's lung, liver and spinal cord. The bullet remains lodged in his back. The doctors say they will not attempt to remove the bullet from his back. They say that would be a risky procedure.