Update expected on Ronald Poppo, victim of South Beach cannibal face chewing attack

9:57 AM, Jun 12, 2012   |    comments
Ronald Poppo before the attack. (Source: Nicholas Carlesi)
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UPDATE: Hospital releases pictures of cannibal victim

MIAMI (CBSMiami) - Doctors at Jackson Memorial Hospital will give an update Tuesday on the condition of Ronald Poppo, the homeless man who had most of his face chewed off during an attack by Rudy Eugene over the Memorial Day weekend.

Eugene attacked Poppo on the MacArthur Causeway on May 26 after he had stripped off his clothes as he walked from Miami Beach towards the mainland. When police arrived, Eugene had torn off most of Poppo's flesh from his face.

GRAPHIC PHOTOS: South Beach cannibal victim photos

The deranged Eugene gouged out one of Poppo's eyes, and chewed off his forehead, nose, and lips, leaving only his chin intact.

An autopsy revealed that Eugene had a number of undigested pills in his stomach, according to the Miami Herald.

Our news partners at CBS4 in Miami first reported that marijuana was also in Eugene's system at the time of the attack.  A more in-depth toxicology screen for any other possible drugs will take another couple of months to complete.

The first step in rebuilding the face of a victim like Poppo is stabilizing him according to the head of University of Miami's Miller School of Medicine Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Dr. Seth Thaller.

Dr. Thaller said someone with injuries like Poppo would have to undergo a series of skin grafts to rebuild his face.

"The advantage to using your own tissue is you are already in a contaminated wound so if you use your own tissue there is a decreased chance of infection," said Dr. Thaller.

In the past, victims like Poppo likely would not have survived but with the advancements in medicine in the past five years Poppo's case does not entirely shock the medical community.

The Jackson Memorial Foundation has set up a fund to assist Poppo.  So far they've raised $15,000.

Anyone interested in helping can make a donation through the Jackson Memorial Foundation website, www.jmf.org. To make a contribution, click the "Take Action Now" tab, and then click on donations. Once you are on the donation page, select "other" in the contribution details section and input: Ronald Poppo.

You may also write a check to Jackson Memorial Foundation and include Mr. Poppo's name in the memo portion. Checks can be mailed to:

Jackson Memorial Foundation
Park Plaza East
Suite G
901 N.W. 17th Street
Miami, FL 33136

Donations can also be made through Neighbors 4 Neighbors by calling 305-597-4404.

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