CBS 2’s Kristine Johnson sat down with the Brooklyn teenager this week to talk about his road to recovery.
“I’m taking everything step by step,” Gama said.
At only 13, Gama said he never expected to be the victim of random gunfire.
It happened three months ago on a busy East Flatbush street. Gama was waiting for a bus with his aunt when someone opened fire, shooting him in the end. The bullet pierced his eye.
Gama was not the intended target, police said.
“We’re blessed that he’s alive,” Gama’s uncle, Jimmy Marcel, said.
Doctors saved the boy’s life but could not save his eye.
“I wasn’t surprised because for a person to get shot in the eye — of course, I knew I was going to lose it,” Gama said.
And that hasn’t been easy.
When asked what kind of adjustments he’s had to make, Gama replied: “Getting to get used to it — walking around, not losing balance.”
He’s facing other difficulties as well. For a teenage boy who just wants to fit in, there is now the pain of being different.
It’s no surprise that he longs for his old life, and his family hopes that what doctors do next will be a milestone in his treatment and future. Doctors will insert a prosthetic eye they say is so state of the art that it will be nearly impossible to tell it’s not real.
“For a 13-year-old, that’s a big deal,” said Dr. Richard Lisman. ” … It’ll be a big boost to him aesthetically. He just will look like the other side.”
When asked if the prosthesis will make him feel any different, Gama said: “It will. Get away from the attention, and less people will recognize me.”
Still, Gama’s aunt and uncle, who have raised him since he was 2 years old, said they’re worried.
“Right now, he’s undergoing therapy, counseling,” Marcel said. “That’s something he’s going to need for the rest of his life.”
While Gama’s family takes some comfort knowing that the man who allegedly shot him was arrested, their real focus is on helping the teen reclaim his life.
“We are fighting to make sure he’s come back to his normal life,” his uncle said.
Gama, meanwhile, says he would like to see stricter gun laws but is skeptical that any will be passed.
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