Surviving a Shotgun Blast to the Face

InspiredON by Perseverance —According to Chrissy Steltz, the survivor of an accidental shotgun blast to the face as quoted in a special report done by the Portland Oregonian, “When anybody finds out how I went blind, their first comment 99 percent of the time is, ‘I’m sorry.’ And my response to that is: I’m not. I lived. There’s nothing to be sorry about living through something like that. Don’t be sorry for me. Be happy for me. Be proud of the fact that I have gone on with my life.”

Police officer, Bob Baxter, who responded to the scene of the shooting also was quoted in the Oregonian story: “Most of her face was gone. There was just this gaping hole in her face where her eyes and nose and most of her mouth had been. I thought she was dead. I just figured this was going to be another homicide scene.

“Then I saw her fingers start to move — ever so slightly. And it looked like she was trying to breathe through the wound in her face.”

This is a fascinating piece by the Oregonian, nicely told through an interesting multimedia presentation, including photos and video, that will rivet you. Chrissy underwent a total midface reconstruction, which included recreation of her facial features from before the accident, complete with acrylic eyes and a silicone nose and skin. The two doctors who created the prosthesis used a photo of her from when she was 14 as the basis for the new face.

Read this amazing account of Chrissy’s 11-year journey from shotgun blast victim in 1999 to finally having a face back in 2010 in the Portland Oregonian’s special report: Rebuilding Chrissy Steltz’s Face. And be sure to scroll down the page to see the links to other Oregonian stories that chronicle her journey.

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