4 stray bullet incidents; 15-year-old girl is latest victim — DOH

The Department of Health (DOH) on Sunday said another stray bullet incident marred the New Year's Eve revelries anew after a 15-year-old female student was struck by a stray bullet in Malabon City.

In a press briefing at DOH media relations unit (MRU) in Tayuman Sta. Cruz, Manila, DOH Secretary Dr. Paulyn Jean B. Rosell Ubial said the female victim has gone into "deep coma" after being hit with a stray bullet in the right portion of her head during the New Year revelry Saturday night.

Ubial said that as of this time, the bullet is still lodged inside her head.

Ubial said the girl is now at the intensive care unit (ICU) of the Jose R. Reyes Memorial Medical Center (JRRMMC) in Manila.

"While watching fireworks display, a stray bullet hit her in the head, which is very damaging to the brain, and is now in a near fatal, critical condition," said Ubial.

She said that was actually their saddest news (for the New Year) wherein everyone and families are supposed to be happy and united as they face the challenges and hope of another year.

Ubial said she got emotional after paying a visit to the patient and found that the victim has a very promising future.

"I am getting teary eyed because she is doing well in school and has a great future ahead. She is a scholar in school. But now this," she said.

In an interview with the girls' parents, Emil and Marilyn Calano, their daughter (Emilyn Villanueva Calano) was just watching the fireworks display together with her aunt and other relatives when the unfortunate incident happened.

Marilyn said they were shocked when neighbors informed them that their daughter suddenly collapsed.

The victim was rushed to JRRMC and it was only then that her parents realized that she had been hit with a stray bullet.

The teary-eyed mother disclosed that it is very painful to them knowing their daughter now faces a "gloomy fate" as she remains critical condition.

She went on to appeal to President Rodrigo R. Duterte to help them in their quest for justice and have those responsible face the full force of the law.

Marilyn said she is now holding on to her faith and praying hard for a "miracle" to happen so that her daughter whom she described as responsible, helpful, loving and caring will survive her wounds.

"If only I can turn back time and knew what will happen, I should not had even let her go out of our house," she uttered. She further disclosed that the area where her daughter was standing was just few steps away from their home.

According to JRRMMC head Dr. Emmanuel MontaAa Jr., the patient was brought to their facility at around 1 a.m. Sunday. The incident incident occurred at about 11:30 p.m. Saturday.

MontaAa admitted that a surgery at this time can worsen the condition of the teenager since other membranes of the brain can actually be damaged severely in the process and chances of survival will actually be low if ever and miracle is needed.

"She is currently in deep coma. In truth, we have a poor prognosis of the patient," said MontaAa.

For now, he said the hospital is just providing the patient with all the necessary medical support while staying at the hospital's ICU.

He said the assistance now being given include medicines to decompress the brain, anti-brain inflammation, anti-tetanus, and antibiotics, among others.

He said this incident should be a call among those firing indiscriminately to wake up and realize the damage it can cause to the victims.

"It can happen to anyone," he said citing that such way should really be stopped.

DOH spokesman Dr. Eric Tayag said they are calling on everyone to offer prayers to the 15-year-old stray bullet victim.

"She needs a miracle and we need to pray for her," Tayag said.

Last Thursday, the DOH reported one other stray bullet victim, a 27-year-old male from Bagabag, Nueva Vizcaya.

He suffered a gunshot wound to the head while inside their house last December 25.

In total, the DOH said they have now received a total of four stray bullet incidents but is leaving other details of the other cases to the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Another reason that they are leaving these incidents to the PNP is due to the fact that sometimes there were cases that are not reported to any of the 50 sentinel hospitals -- that submit reports to DOH for purposes of recording the injuries in its annual surveillance.

Source: Philippines News Agency