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Angeles County | Community News File / Highland Park

Girl, 10, Hurt in Gang Shooting Leaves Hospital

April 23, 1998

Fighting back tears as she stroked a brown-and-white stuffed dog, 10-year-old Yvette Zavala left Kaiser Permanente Medical Center on Wednesday, three weeks after a gang member's stray bullet tore through her body.

Yvette underwent surgery to remove her left kidney and spleen after the April 1 shooting at her Highland Park home. She did not want to talk to reporters as she left the hospital Wednesday, but her uncle, Alex Garcia, spoke for her.

"It's all pretty emotional for the entire family," Garcia said. "It pretty much changed our entire lives, as you can imagine."

The child's recovery is going well and she should be able to "play just like any other kid," said Dr. Norman Bautista. "The right-side kidney will pick up the function from the left kidney and the loss of her spleen really will not affect her in any way."

The youngster will undergo more physical therapy at home over the next month, then will be able to return to school, said Kaiser spokeswoman Pam Dean.

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