MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The 15-year-old girl who was reportedly hit by a “stray” bullet during the New Year’s Eve celebration in Malabon City “needs a miracle” to survive, health officials said on Sunday, January 1.
“She needs a miracle and we need prayers for her,” Bureau of Local Health Development Director Eric Tayag said at a news briefing led by Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial.
The girl, who has a bullet lodged deep in her head, is confined at the Jose Reyes Memorial Medical Center (JRMMC) in Manila.
“The injury is very damaging to the brain….This is one of our saddest incidents for this New Year,” said Ubial, who referred to it as a “stray bullet” case.
Police, however, clarified less than two hours after the briefing that they are treating the case as a “shooting incident.” The DOH and the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO), which is investigating the case, did not release the name of the minor.
The girl was watching a fireworks display in Malabon when she was hit by a supposed stray bullet at 11:45 pm on Saturday, December 31. She was admitted to the JRMMC at 1 am on Sunday.
Dr Emmanuel Montaña, JRMMC director, said at the briefing that the prognosis for the girl is “very, very poor.”
She could not be operated on because of the location of the bullet, which crossed from the right side to the left side of her head, he added.
“We cannot perform an operation. It would be more damaging to the victim,” said Montaña, adding that the girl was in a “deep coma.”
Asked what could be done to save the girl, Montaña said all the necessary medical support was being given to the patient.
He said the girl was on a ventilator to assist her breathing, and was being administered medication to decompress her brain, among other medical treatment.
Responding to questions, Montaña said health officials classified the incident as a stray bullet case because of the circumstances – the girl was outside, watching a fireworks display, and suddenly collapsed after she got hit.
The DOH reported 350 fireworks-related injuries as of 6 am, January 1, 60% lower than the 5-year everage from 2011 to 2015. – Rappler.com