East Texas man continues recovery from attack in Central America - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

East Texas man continues recovery from attack in Central America in Dallas hospital

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Joe French is recovering in Dallas Joe French is recovering in Dallas
DALLAS, TX (KLTV) -

An East Texas man and former KLTV employee is recovering in a Dallas hospital after he was brutally attacked in Honduras.

Joe French, a 27-year-old from Longview, was teaching high school English in Honduras when he was shot four times on his way back from his school's Christmas party. Family says it is a miracle that he even survived the attack.

Now, a month later, French is at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, working on getting his life back.

His brother, David Ortega, says French is only able to move his right arm and leg, but is able to turn his head from left to right. He is trying to speak, but only his lips move; his voice is very soft and Ortega says you can't hear him or understand him.

French will undergo another surgery soon to remove a portion of his skull to alleviate pressure from brain swelling.

Ortega acknowledges that his brother still has a long way to go.

"There are still a lot of prayers to be done," he said.

One of French's former Tyler Junior College professors stopped by and French recognized him instantly. He has also been able to recognize other friends who have stopped by, which his doctor says is a good sign.

French's family feels he is doing very well and is appreciative of all the support they have received.

In December, the family asked for donations to help bring French home from Honduras and pay medical expenses. Ortega says the family was able to raise $25,000 in just one week and French himself indicated that he can't wait to tell all of East Texas thank you for helping to bring him home.

French will be transferred to a facility to begin working on rehabilitation.

Tyler Junior College will be holding a silent auction benefiting French on Friday, January 24 from 7-10 p.m. at Sportszone. You must be 21 or older to attend the auction. However, anyone under 21 can bid online here.

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