WARNING GRAPHIC IMAGES!
Pictured in hospital: Miami cannibal victim “awake, alert and walking” after most of his face was eaten off by naked man high on “bath salts”Ronald Poppo”s face was eaten by Rudy Eugene as he slept on train tracks in Miami last month
Nose is missing and face is covered with scabs
May be blind after losing one eye in the attack and sustaining severe damage to the other
Has two “mysterious” holes in his chest – perhaps from bullets shot by police officer who killed his attackerBut is walking and talking and asking for pizza
The homeless man who had 80 per cent of his face chewed off in a horrific attack along a busy Miami highway is now “awake and alert”, according to doctors at Jackson Memorial Hospital”s Ryder Trauma Center.
A photograph shown to reporters today portrayed Ronald Poppo walking down a hospital hallway, supported by hospital staff on either side of him.
The man had his left eye removed but doctors are hoping to restore vision in his right eye, which was also severely damaged in the attack.
Recovery: Ronald Poppo, the Miami Cannibal victim, is pictured for the first time in hospital after the horrific May 26 attack which left most of his face eaten off
“He”s pleased to report to all of you that he”s feeling well, he”s eating, he”s walking around with physical therapy, he”s talking with us,” said Nicholas Namias, a University of Miami trauma surgeon”
A photo released by the hospital shows the upper two-thirds of Poppo”s face covered in scabs.
He”s missing his nose and both eye sockets were covered, one with gauze and one with what appeared to be a skin graft.
His grey beard was trimmed, leaving a moustache over his upper lip.
Doctors at the hospital said the homeless man also has holes in his chest that may be from bullets fired by the police officer who killed his attacker.
Nicholas Namias, head of trauma, and Popp”s physician, told the Miami Herald that Poppo had two “mysterious” punctures in his chest.
In youth: Ronald Poppo as a student
Then: Ronald Poppo before the brutal attack
Now: Poppo is recovering in hospital
Doctors added that the victim lost his left eye but are trying to save his right eye, which was severely damaged.
Poppo also suffered a brain injury during the attack, like that suffered by a car crash victim, the Herald reported.
Despite these problems, the medical team said Poppo, who has been in the hospital since the attack on May 26, is doing much better.
He has talked about swimming, which he used to enjoy, and he has asked for pizza, orange juice and Italian food.
He”s asked for the television to be switched off in his room, except when the Miami Heat basketball games are on, Namias said.
The doctor said Poppo has not once complained about his pain.
Attacker: Rudy Eugene, 31, the naked cannibal, pounced on Poppo as he slept on elevated train tracks in Miami and was shot dead by police officers
“He”s really just sort of living in the moment and just wants to talk about routine things,” he said.
Mr Poppo will have to undergo a number of skin grafts to rebuild his face.
WHAT ARE HIS INJURIES
Doctors have revealed that Ronald Poppo is doing “well” but has sustained a number of injuries:
Flesh was ripped from top two-thirds of his face and is now covered with scabsLost his nose in the attackLeft eye gouged outRight eye severely damaged so could be blindTwo “mysterious” holes in his chest which may be from bullets shot by the officer who killed his attackerA brain injury similar to that sustained by someone in a car accident
Social workers will try to help him find a place to live as he has been homeless for nearly 30 years.
A fund set up by the Jackson MemorialFoundation to assist Poppo has raised $15,000. Poppo also qualifies forMedicaid and Medicare.
“If he doesn”t get his vision back then it becomes, is he concerned about how he looks or is it more about how the world sees him Those are things to think about,” plastic surgeon Wrood Kassira said.
“I”ve talked to him about reconstruction and he”s said we”ll take it one day at a time. He”s very logical.”
Poppo has been at Jackson Memorial Hospital since he was attacked on May 26 by Rudy Eugene.
Emergency callers reported seeing a naked man swinging from a light pole on Miami”s MacArthur Causeway a fewminutes before the attack.
Surveillance video from a nearby building shows Eugene stripping Poppo and pummeling him before appearing to lie on top of him.
Horrific: The attack went on for almost 20 minutes as people walked by
In the harrowing attack, which has shocked America, 31-year-old Eugene originally from Haiti, chewed lumps offlesh from the face of Mr Poppo.
Inthe extended video footage of the attack – which lasted almost 20 minutes – a number of people can be seen cycling and driving past and doing nothing to stop it.
After arriving on the scene, officer Jose Rivera shouted at Eugene to stop but he simply got up and growled and continued eating at the man”s face.
Eugene was then shot and killedby the Miami police officer.
Initial tests revealed that Eugene had a number of undigested pills in his stomach, according to the Miami Herald.
Marijuana was also in Eugene”s system at the time of the attack.
It is believed that Eugene may have been on ‘bath salts’, a potent hallucinogenic drug, when he carried out the gruesome assault.
Users of the drug report to feeling no pain. Its effects include paranoia, hallucinations, convulsions and psychotic episodes.
A more in-depth toxicology screen for any other possible drugs will take another couple of months to complete.
An autopsy also revealed that there was no human flesh in Eugene”s stomach, but it did find flesh lodged between his teeth.
The findings come after Eugene’s girlfriend revealed her name and her face for the first time on Wednesday.
Yovanka Bryant, 27, continued to claim her boyfriend of four months was a harmless man.
She even went so far as to say that Eugene would have been a “good father for her children.”