Article from AOL:
(July 15) — Geoffrey Dilger, almost 1, saw his mother’s face for the first time last Thursday. Before then, he could see Chrissy Steltz’s mouth below her black eye mask and her forehead above, but nothing more. Steltz has worn the sleep shade since a gun accident shattered her eyes, cheeks, nose and part of her jaw 11 years ago.
Before she was shot, Steltz was a good girl: a 16-year-old honor roll student in Portland, Ore. Her mother allowed her to move in with her 18-year-old boyfriend provided she kept up her grades. No one realized what she was doing after the last bell rang.
“I was a straight-A great student. The teachers loved me,” she said. “They don’t know what happens outside of schools. That’s where the chaos and mayhem started.”
On March 9, 1999, Steltz waited in the car while her boyfriend and another teenager broke into Fox Grocery and Firearms and stole 15 guns, rifle scopes and binoculars worth thousands of dollars. According to an Associated Press report from June 1999, the group planned to sell their take and use the money for pot, and boasted to friends about their “big lick,” or successful heist.
Twelve days later, Steltz and friends were drinking when someone found one of the stolen guns. One of them shot Steltz in the face by mistake. The bullet only grazed her brain but ripped her face apart. He was sentenced to 27 months in prison for second-degree assault, while Steltz’s boyfriend was put on probation for the gun theft. Police declined to prosecute Steltz, saying her shooting was punishment enough.
Regardless, Steltz served her time. During six weeks in the hospital, of which she remembers only the last four days, Steltz underwent more than a dozen surgeries and returned to life without much of her face, still holding 33 BBs insider her head.
She moved out of Portland to Milwaukie, Ore.; into a relationship with partner Geoffrey Dilger, also blind; and on to motherhood with Geoffrey Jr., born in July 2009.
Steltz pursued a prosthetic primarily for her son.
In addition to placing screw-like titanium implants around her eye sockets to attract tiny magnets in the new face piece, Dierks created a hole for Steltz’s nasal passage, big enough to breathe through.
Husband Geoffrey felt her face and cried. Steltz’s mom saw her daughter’s face for the first time in 11 years. Her sister Shyanne, born four months after Steltz was shot, hugged her. Then the family went home to see little Geoffrey.
Medical science is absolutely astounding. The things the medical field has done and continues to do on a daily basis is nothing short of a miracle. Hats off to the people in the medical field that touch people’s lives on a day to day basis.