MIAMI, Fla. - Ronald Poppo, the homeless victim in the Memorial Day Weekend face-eating attack, is still in the hospital after losing about 75 percent of his face, including one of his eyes.
His attacker, 31-year-old Rudy Eugene, was fatally shot in the nude by police after he refused to stop his cannibal-like assault Saturday.
While Poppo, 65, is fortunate to be alive, he will be permanently disfigured.
He now faces an uphill battery in recovery and facial reconstructive surgery, an expense that the victim, who has been homeless for up to 30 years, can not cover.
That’s why the Miami hospital that he is currently staying in is stepping up on his behalf.
Jackson Memorial Hospital has created a fundraiser on the Giveforward.com website urging people to donate.
“His friends describe him as cheerful, polite, and friendly to one and all, friends and strangers alike,” the site reads.
“He is currently unconscious, with only the bottom fifth of his face un-eaten. He will need extensive medical care, extreme reconstructive surgery, short and long-term mental healthcare, and most of all, community support,” it continues.
Donors have been leaving behind kind messages of encouragement for Poppo.
“I know you don't know me, but I still care about you. My sister and I are praying for you everyday,” said Elisa and Robyn.
Up until recently, those who do know him assumed the victim had been dead for years, Huffington Post reports.
His sister Antoinette said she tried to reach him over the years. She also said she's glad their mother isn't alive to see what happened to her brother.
Poppo, who has an above average IQ of 129, attended a prestigious high school in New York and enrolled in community college before old friends and family lost touch with him.
Since then, Poppo has been arrested a few times for petty arrests and he'd even previously spent some time in the same hospital that is working to raise money to help fund his recovery.
So far, $4,515 of the $50,000 goal has been raised.
If you're interested in donating, visit http://www.giveforward.com/ronaldpopporecovery
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