Hamilton mom recovers in Guatemala from two gunshots to the head
HAMILTON (Mercer) — A New Jersey woman is making a "miraculous" recovery from being shot twice in the head while vacationing in Guatemala with her husband.
A week after being shot at and taking two bullets to the head, Sara Inman of Hamilton in Mercer County is sitting in a chair, eating soft foods, and is able to speak fluent Spanish to her nurses and English to her husband, James. He told New Jersey 101.5 her recovery has been "miraculous" considering how things could have gone.
James Inman said he and his wife, who is a native of Guatemala, were run off the road and shot at last Tuesday as they traveled from Mazatenango to Antigua. The cities are safe, according to James, but the areas between are mostly jungle with roads in disrepair.
"Some thugs pulled up alongside of us in a pickup truck and just started shooting, cut in front of us, ran us off the road and then three of them jumped out the back and started shooting through the side and through the front," he said.
Inman's brother-in-law tried to ram the truck, but instead went off the road and hit a tree. Before their Escalade became completely undriveable, they made it to a roadside police station. An ambulance took Sara to a medical facility that was ill-equipped to completely treat the bullet wounds.
One of the two bullets was removed at Herrera Llerandi, a Guatemala City hospital which James said is considered the best in the country.
"She suffered two shots to the head. They had her in surgery for two or three hours the first night cleaning out bullet fragments, closing the wound, trying to put everything back together. She still has one bullet in the front area by her temporal lobe they're not able to do anything with because it would create more damage," he said.
Sara Inman has no recollection of the shooting and only knows she had been in a bad car accident.
James Inman is very happy with the level of care his wife has received, but doctors have told him they anticipate months or possibly years of therapy and recovery.
"They told us we are in a third-world country, so aside from trauma and immediate injury, the level of care during recovery long-term diminishes drastically. As soon as she's able, we're going to move her back to the States so she can get the care she needs," he said.
In the meantime, the Inmans face an expensive hospital stay. James said he had to pay $10,000 before his wife would be admitted.
"Everything is a la carte. You walk into admissions and they give you a bill every day and you have to pay it every day ... fortunately, we had a lot of friends and a lot of people helping," he said.
The Inmans have health insurance for their two daughters but dropped out of Obamacare because it got "outrageously expensive," and were shopping around for a policy. They have set up a GoFundMe page to help with Sara's medical expenses at the suggestion of the American Embassy in Guatemala.
Daughter Ashley is a senior at Steinert High School in Hamilton, while Elicia is a sophomore Syracuse University. James Inman owns Delta Solar Electric in Cranbury.
James said Sara is more concerned about not upsetting her daughters and can't wait to go home.
"That's my girl! What a fighter," he said.
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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