HOUSTON, Texas – It’s dinner time for the United States Marine Veteran Christopher Katthage and his girlfriend Esmeralda, but this meal will be very small and simple and easy to eat and digest. That’s because Katthage can only digest very specific foods.
After being shot last April, Katthage has gone from a bodybuilder and personal trainer to losing 80 pounds and very nearly losing his life.
”I was in Ben Taub hospital in a coma for three months. I was shot nine times and I’ve had 14 surgeries”, Katthage said.
Katthage is a veteran who joined the Marine Corps right after the 911 terrorist attacks because he wanted to “prove his love for America and all Americans.”
“I was not born here. I’m originally from South Africa and I came to this country. I love this country. It’s the greatest country in the world,” Katthage said.
Katthage survived the bombs and the bullets while fighting in Iraq, but now, every day is a battle to recover from a horrific attack.
The attack happened in the Westchase area on April 17, 2021 around 12 a.m.
Katthage said he encountered two men outside of his apartment. He said the two men were shining their headlights directly into his bedroom.
When he asked them to shut the lights off, he said the two men started swearing at him, and then one of the men opened fire on him, shooting him a total of nine times as he screamed for help and tried to crawl to safety.
The bullets shattered bones in his arms and legs and destroyed his digestive system.
Luckily, his medical care is being provided by the Veteran’s Administration. But there’s one more very important thing Katthage said he is in desperate need of getting.
Katthage said he needs extensive dental care and that his teeth are in horrible shape, missing, diseased, broken and infected.
The problem is, unable to work because of his injuries, he can’t afford the estimated $6,000 in dental work he needs to rebuild his ravaged mouth.
So, Katthage contacted The Spencer Solves It team for help.
“If you can possibly help me, I’d be speechless. I’ll start crying. I really will start crying. It means everything to me. It is all I need now to really get my confidence back and begin my new life,” Katthage said.
Now, working with Dr. Terri Alani, one of Houston’s most well-known dentists, the Spencer Solves It team is helping Katthage rebuild his entire smile.
Most of his teeth will have to be removed by an oral surgeon and then his new teeth will be created by Dr. Alani.
”Christopher is such a powerful, positive person. He is absolutely determined to get better and live his life the best way possible and I want to be part of that for him”, said Dr. Alani.