Alexandria, LA, (KALB) - For twenty-year-old Christian Collister, March second started out like any other day.
KALB, Photo courtesy of Tammy Guynes
"I went to work and my friend came into town and I went to work, I came home about 12:30ish,” said Collister.
After work, Christian purchased a gun part that he needed.
When he and his friend got back into the car, Christian began taking apart the gun.
"So to take apart glocks, you have to empty the chamber and then pull the trigger and slide the chamber back and push it forward,” said Collister.
In the middle of checking everything, the twenty-year-old forgot to check the chamber, a mistake that could have easily taken his life.
"I pulled the trigger and when I did it just blew everything."
Christian says he remembers feeling panicked after looking in the mirror and told his friend to rush him to the hospital.
“I looked down at the center console, all I saw was my jaw and the row of teeth just sitting there so I was like okay, this is very serious, said Christian.
On the way to the hospital, Chrstian and his friend got stuck in dead stop traffic, so he took matters into his own hands.
"I rolled down the window, stuck my whole body out the window, sat on the window seal and I was telling people to get out of the way,” said Christian.
He later learned that a total of 47 people called 911 about a man hanging out the window in Houston traffic with serious injuries.
For the first eight days, Christian couldn't talk. He had to re-learn how to walk and get used to life with a feeding tube.
"It's just like learning pretty much how to do everything over again."
With almost a dozen surgeries under his belt, Christian is hoping to have another procedure done at the end of this month.
"How many surgeries have you had at this point? Seven or eight. I'm not sure, I lost count."
Christian doesn't have any insurance and he hasn't been able to work since the accident.
"My CT scan last time I believe was $700 and something dollars for a CT scan, which is crazy."
Doctors say it's a miracle how quickly he's healed.
And it's clear Christian has never lost his positive spirit.
"When you have a 40 caliber hollow point to the face and then you get out of the hospital in three weeks, it's kind of amazing talking and everything again. It's kind of crazy."
Christian still has a trach and a feeding tube.
Those will remain until his facial reconstruction is complete.
He will then get fourteen and a half prosthetic teeth that'll cost upwards of forty thousand dollars.
"It's been a costly journey,” said Christian’s mom, Tammy Guynes.
Christian and his mom are hosting a fundraiser Tuesday to help with prosthetic teeth and travel expenses.
For ten dollars, you can get a plate filled with gumbo, a sausage po-boy, BBQ tacos and dessert at LSU-A’s University Academy from 7 until 4 p.m..
If you order over ten meals, you can also get free delivery.
The mother son duo are also hoping to host another fundraiser in May.
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