‘I was in too much shock to scream’: Tourist, 21, relives horror of losing her teeth and gums after being shot in the face in New Orleans

Life can change in an instant. Amy Matthews found that out firsthand on a visit to New Orleans, where she got caught in the middle of gunfire and was tragically shot in the face… causing her to lose her teeth and gums, requiring over $100,000 of reconstructive surgery.


Amy Matthews was enjoying a night out on the famous bar and nightclub strip Bourbon Street in New Orleans, during a gap year trip in the US with one of her best friends.

The 21-year-old university graduate from Mount Hawthorn in Perth heard a gunshot, then another, and then she saw people screaming and running so she started running too.

After making it to the next street she stopped to take shelter when she noticed her face felt like it was on fire.

‘We were in the main bars and clubs area and it was packed,’ Ms Matthews told New Idea.

‘I never felt in any danger until I heard those shots.’

Her mouth was filling up with blood and when she opened it a number of her teeth fell out.

… Ms Matthews was shot in the right cheek and the bullet exited from her upper lip.

She lost all but 10 of her teeth, had to have her dead gums removed, her tongue stitched up and a metal plate inserted to support her shattered jaw.

… Almost three months since the shooting Ms Matthews is desperately trying to raise $135,000 to pay for multiple face reconstruction surgeries and a new set of teeth, because her travel insurance will not cover the procedures.

It’s awful that Matthews’ travel insurance won’t cover her surgeries, but hopefully, enough good Samaritans will step up to help make that happen. In the meantime, as horrific as her injuries are, the most important thing is that she survived — nothing could be worth more than that.

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