New York Daily News
May 21, 2013
Ronald Poppo, a Florida homeless man who gained notoriety last year after attacker Rudy Eugene gnawed off half of his face before being shot and killed by police.
The scrawny homeless man whose face was partially chewed off by a crazed attacker last year has gained 50 pounds and is relearning the guitar, his doctors said Tuesday.
“I think he wants the world to know that he’s not traumatized by this, that he’s happy and grateful,” said Dr. Urmen Desai, Poppo’s plastic surgeon at Jackson Memorial Hospital/University of Miami.
Poppo became known to the world as a craggy, sunburnt, bearded man in a photo taken before he was attacked on Miami Beach’s MacArthur Causeway last May 26.
In a short video shown at Jackson Memorial Hospital, he wore a blue polo shirt and held a guitar.
“Thank you,” he said.
Poppo is up to 200 pounds and is learning again to strum the guitar, which he played during his youth.
“He’s a wonderful person,” said his nursing assistant, Patricia Copalko, who sees him daily. “I couldn’t ask for a better patient.”Although Poppo rarely ventures outside his room, he follows Miami Heat games avidly, she said. Hospital staff said he can remain in the Miami nursing facility “indefinitely.” He has refused additional reconstructive surgery and is learning to adjust to his blindness.