By Cyril Rose Barker
Special to the NNPA from the New York Amsterdam News
Teen gun violence victim Gama Droiville has become a symbol of survival in recent weeks after being shot in the eye in Brooklyn. The 13-year-old was an innocent bystander during a shootout in East Flatbush, Brooklyn.
On Monday, the community welcomed Gama back to school since being released from the hospital. City Council Member Jumaane Williams discussed the financial difficulties placed on Gama’s family and the need to help Gama’s family attain permanent residency, and made a direct appeal for the public to contribute to an established fund recently created at youcaring.com/helpgama to help aid in his rehabilitation.
“Gama’s family needs our community’s assistance. Parts of this story was originally untold, so I want to make sure the community understands the entire situation so we can continue to support Gama with all of the assistance he is going to need,” Williams said.
Cheers and celebration filled the halls of Kings County Hospital, where he spent nine days being treated for the injury. Gama was released yesterday, and when he spoke to the press, he was wearing a plastic patch over his eye being held by medical tape. He spent Easter Sunday in the hospital.
At a press conference at the hospital, Gama said that he’s going to strive to lead a normal life and not be afraid to go outside. Doctors said that it’s early to tell if he will be able to see out of his right eye. Gama will continue to recover at home and hopes to go back soon to singing in his church choir.
While Gama has Medicaid, that may not cover all of his medical expenses. In addition to financial aid, Gama needs special furniture to relieve the tension when he sits and lies down. The family needs a La-Z-Boy sofa bed and Tempurpedic bed to help keep Gama’s head elevated.
“I’d like to say thank you for all the support,” Gama said. “Thank you for all the prayers. I am in the healing process. I would like to say thank you to my choir members and my church just for still keeping me in prayer.”
Wearing an NYPD hat, Gama thanked the force for catching his shooter. The NYPD also gave the teen awards for his bravery during the ordeal.
A dedicated church member, the teen added that he will try to forgive the person who shot him. The incident happened on Beverly Road and Flatbush Avenue, where Gama was waiting for the bus with his aunt.
His doctor, Douglas Lazzaro, said that Gama still has inflammation and that he is in the healing process.
The shooter, 21-year-old Kareem Potomont, was charged with two counts each of attempted murder, assault, criminal possession of a weapon, criminal use of a firearm and reckless endangerment. He shot his intended target in the leg.
“Violence destroys too many families, too many lives,” said City Council Member Mathieu Eugene. “He didn’t do anything bad [or] wrong to deserve what he went through. We are so happy to see that Gama is going home after this horrible tragedy. Gama is a wonderful young person.”
Eugene also said that violence is a big problem in his district and that Gama is an example of what can happen if something isn’t done.
Reports indicate that the area where Gama was shot is seeing a dangerous increase in violence. Shootings, according to CompStat data, have gone up 30 to 40 percent over the last month.
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