By K. S. Nikhil Kumar
At the end of the long hallway in the intensive care unit at Kings County Hospital stood Yvonne Marrero’s daughter and niece. Behind the glass door 42 year-old Marrero lay in bed with her head enveloped in a transparent plastic mask. Just over two days had passed since she was shot in the head as she and a companion sat in a parked car on St. Edwards Street in Fort Greene. Her life hung in the balance as one by one her family came to see her.
As the girls stood thumb punching their mobiles the doctors walked up and told them of Marrero’s situation. “She might not make it,” they said. Katerina, her 18-year old daughter, closed her eyes and stopped listening. In no time she began to cry while Tameika, 28, Marrero’s niece, continued to hear the details.
Marrero’s brain was damaged from the shooting and one of her eyes had been surgically been removed. She will need more surgeries said her doctor. She was barely conscious as Catherine, her sister who is heavily pregnant, rushed up to her bed and started talking to her. “Chiqui, squeeze my hand,” she said. Marrero remained still, her face barely visible through the mask. “Is she in a coma? Can she hear what I’m saying?” she desperately swerved and asked the doctor. Tears and much wailing filled the room at the end of the corridor over the soothing jazz and routine staff announcements.
Although Marrero was shot in what is suspected to be a mugging incident, her sister thinks there’s more to the story. But she said she would wait until the police spoke with her about the investigation before making a public comment about her suspicions. The police have interrogated Daniel, the girl who was in the car with Marrero at the time of the crime she said. “But she says she doesn’t know what happened.”
Marrero’s family found out about the shooting only later (it happened at 8:45 a.m. Sunday). That’s because she lives alone in Bushwick, while her daughter lives with her grandson in a group home in Staten Island. As does Tameika, her niece. They also don’t really know what was going on in Marerro’s life. “I haven’t seen my aunt in a few years. She’s had a rough life. And we’re not close like we used to be,” said Tameika.
Marrero has one daughter, two sisters, two nieces and a newly born grandson. “She just became a grandma,” said Tameika looking under the stroller’s hood. “So he bein’ a good baby Mami?” Catherine asked Katerina, the young mother. “I’m pregnant,” said Catherine. “I need to calm myself down.” Then inquires were made about the single room that houses her and the newborn, the baby’s father, cooking and domestic things. The baby gurgled in the lobby as the family sat around him and contemplated their grave situation. Marrero’s father is also in a hospital nearby for a yet unidentified cancer said her sister. And he still doesn’t know of his daughter’s critical state.