On November 4, 2016, Perla Sosa was shot in the Dominican Republic by an 18-year-old man after she said no when he asked her on a date. The bullet went into her abdomen and perforated her small bowel and liver. She still has shrapnel in her spine. Sosa was completely paralyzed from waist down.
A group of traveling surgeons and nurses from St. Louis heard Sosa’s story while on a trip to the Caribbean and knew they had to get her to St. Louis.
“For someone like her to receive rehab on a regular basis they cannot afford it and the government does not provide subsidies for people like her,” said Dr. Madeline Stazzone, Pediatric Orthopedic Project.
Sosa arrived in St. Louis last month and has already made incredible progress in what’s been a collaborative effort. In addition to the Pediatric Orthopedic Project, she's received help from Mercy Hospital, the Ronald McDonald House, and the World Pediatric Project, which provides translators and transportation.
Even her leg braces were donated.
“It's been a wonderful act of love from many people in St. Louis,” Stazzone said.
Sosa’s determination is also driving her rapid recovery. Once told she would remain paralyzed, she has dreams of dancing and walking out of the hospital on her own two feet.