The homeless man whose face was nearly chewed off by another man in a gruesome attack in Miami last year is recovering well from his severe facial injuries and has expressed gratitude to those who supported him during his recovery process.
In a newly added YouTube video from Jackson Health System in Miami, 66-year-old Ronald Poppo is seen sitting on a hospital bed strumming a few chords on a guitar. He then pauses, holds up the guitar and jokes, “A good enough action shot?”
Towards the end of the video, the infamous Miami cannibal attack victim issues a statement to his supporters.
“Thanks for contributing and helping out,” Poppo said in the video. “People in my predicament need to be helped out, and I’m sure there’s other people who also have the same type of predicaments. I thank the outpouring of people in the community. I will always be grateful for them.”
On May 26, 2012, Poppo was viciously attacked by 31-year-old Rudy Eugene on the MacArthur Causeway in Miami, Fla. Initial reports suggested that Eugene was high on bath salts at the time of the attack, but later toxicology results only indicated the presences of marijuana in his system.
Surveillance video from a nearby building shows Eugene pulling Poppo from the shade, stripping and pummeling him before appearing to hunch over and then lie on top of him.
A witness described Eugene ripping at Poppo's face with his mouth and growling at a Miami police officer who ordered him to get off the homeless man. The officer then shot and killed Eugene.
After the attack, Poppo was taken to Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, where he underwent months of facial reconstruction to rebuild his features. Poppo lost both his eyes and his nose in the attack.
In a statement on its Facebook page, Jackson Health System wrote that Poppo has gained more than 50 pounds in the last year.
"He continues to work with an occupational therapist, who taught him how to dress himself, feed himself, shower and shave," the hospital wrote in the statement.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.