BENTON HARBOR — The Benton Harbor woman who was shot in the head Nov. 23 by a stray bullet as she lay in her bed watching television may be able to go home later this week, according to family members.
But Doreen Bowens said her sister, 66-year-old Denise Hollins, will have to return to Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids for follow up visits and surgery to reconstruct the shattered bones in her face, which is difficult because the family’s car is in need of repair.
She said her sister’s husband, Arthur Hollins, has been staying at the hospital most of the time, with family and friends giving him rides when needed.
Bowens set up a GoFundMe page, www.gofundme.com/f/denise-hollins, Sunday to help pay for transportation and medical costs.
“This has been such a scary time for all of us,” said Bowens. “We’ve been hit by a lot of tragedy.”
She said her sister had a mini-stroke a few months ago that left her unable to use her legs without assistance. Shortly after the stroke, she said their mother died of a heart attack.
She said her sister was expected to have surgery this morning to place a stent near her right eye to drain fluids in an attempt to prevent blood clots and to help the swelling go down. Bowens said surgeons have determined that the bullet, which lodged in her sister’s nasal cavities, can’t be removed without doing more damage, and they are uncertain if the eye can be saved.
Hollins was struck in the side of her face after the bullet shot through her bedroom window at about 11 p.m. Nov. 23 in the 900 block of Pavone Avenue.
Hollins was taken to Lakeland Medical Center in St. Joseph before being transported by helicopter to the hospital in Grand Rapids due to the critical nature of her injuries, Bowens said.
Bowens, who lives out of state, said her sister was a housewife who worked part-time jobs while raising five children. She said she often called her sister early in the morning to chat.
“She would sit on the porch and drink her coffee and reflect,” she said. “She said it was quiet out there.”
Benton Harbor police are still investigating the shooting and reported last week that they have some leads, but have not officially released any new information.
Various people were seen running from the Broadway Park area after the shooting on Nov. 23, according to police. Police reported after the incident that they were reviewing outside security cameras from the area to determine who might have been involved.
Anyone with information about the incident can call 927-0293, Crime Stoppers at 1-800-342-STOP (7867) or provide information via the Benton Harbor Public Safety phone app.