DENVER (KDVR/CNN) - A juvenile suspect faces multiple charges, including attempted murder, after he allegedly shot a 20-year-old woman in the face during a road rage incident.
Karen Escamilla, 20, says the October shooting, allegedly committed by a 16-year-old suspect, changed her life forever. In the incident, she was shot in the face. The bullet went through her cheek and got caught in her sinuses.
"Everything is different: how I wake up, how I talk, how I eat,” Escamilla said. "I’m grateful that I’m alive.”
The 20-year-old had difficulty speaking during the interview because her mouth is wired shut. Some of those wires will have to stay in her mouth for another four months.
"My jaw shattered in seven places, so I have to let that heal before I can take on any surgeries,” she said.
Even facing years of recovery, Escamilla has remained optimistic about the future.
"This is not who I am. I’ll be normal again, and that’s what I’m hoping for is that I can put this behind me and move on from something so tragic,” she said.
A juvenile suspect has been arrested in the case. He is facing multiple charges, including attempted murder.
Escamilla’s recovery will come with some big medical bills. Insurance isn’t covering the costs associated with being airlifted to a different hospital. The surgeries that are deemed “cosmetic” aren’t being covered either.
"It’s really hard to focus on the medical bills when you’re focusing so much on her recovery because that’s really the ultimate goal is that she recovers every day,” said Isaiah Wright, Escamilla’s boyfriend.
Wright started a GoFundMe to help cover some of the costs. It has raised almost $10,000.