Saturday, May 4, 2013

Shot girlfriend mistaken for hog in accidental shooting forgives hunter

Shot girlfriend mistaken for hog in accidental shooting forgives hunter, A Florida man shot his girlfriend in a case of mistaken identity; the hunter thought she was a hog. Luckily, his lover recovered from the accidental shooting that nearly claimed her life. Having forgiven her lover from the start, the woman is slowly recovering. Despite the insensitive spoofs that ensued, the couple is an inspiration to many.

On May 3, Tampa Bay Times ran a touching story about Steve Egan and Lisa Simmons' ordeal that is chock full of details missing from other sources.

While headlines of "Shot girlfriend mistaken for hog" center on spoof, a larger message of love, hope and faith is at play of the couple (pictured here).

A year ago, Lisa and Steve went hog hunting in Flagler County. At one point, Egan saw a hog from his blind, took aim and fired a shot. While he pursued the injured animal, Simmons, dressed in camouflage pants, darted off to an area she'd seen earlier containing sour oranges. Her intentions were to collect a few for a homemade marinade recipe.

Suddenly, as she stood on her toes to get the ripe oranges nearly out of reach, she felt a violent pain that knocked her off her feet. The nurse of 18 years looked down and saw blood pouring from a gaping wound. As a nurse, she knew a bullet ripped through her femoral artery. But who shot her?

Moments later, Eagan found his girlfriend lying in the brush, bleeding heavily from her leg. Even before Lisa said, "Steve, you shot me," the man knew he shot his girlfriend and mistook it for a hog.

The woman instantly ripped off the man's belt and used tied it around the wound to stop the blood loss. Meanwhile, Steve darted off to camp and fetched their cell phone to call 911.

Throughout the stress of the shooting, Steve had a tough time directing first responders to their area. However, a hour after the man mistakenly shot his girlfriend while hog-hunting, a helicopter arrived and airlifted the woman to a nearby hospital.

There, she went through emergency and required 14 pints of blood. Lisa nearly died on two occasions, but the strong "country girl" never lost her cool.

Despite the couple's insistence on privacy, news outlets ran headlines, many with photos of hogs. Additionally, comics like Jay Leno used the couple's ordeal during his monologue.

"I don't know what is worse for the girl: having your boyfriend shoot you in the legs or saying the reason he did it was that he mistook you for a hog. Pretty awful."

Even the woman's Facebook page had to be taken down as a result of the many insensitive comments. Although the shooting was a painful experience, the unwanted attention took its toll.

As Lisa admitted, the harsh comments only faded because an incident in Miami involving a "zombie," allegedly high on bath salts, took over the air waves.

The good news is that Lisa never blamed her boyfriend. Despite being on full disability from her nursing job and enduring a long and painful recovery, Simmons thinks life is too precious to place blame on others.

"Take responsibility for your part of what happened. Whatever it is, don't blame the other person because a lot of things go into an accident or problem. It's not just one factor," she says.

After having shot his girlfriend, mistaken for a hog, Steve sought therapy for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PSTD). However, he is grateful because things could have been a whole lot worse.

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