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Former Giants defensive lineman Louis Nix III says the bullet lodged in his lung from a Florida shooting incident last week may be too risky to be surgically removed.
The 29-year-old Nix, who appeared in four games for the Giants in 2015, was shot in the chest Dec. 8 in an alleged attempted robbery while filling his tires with air at a Gate gas station in Jacksonville.
“Right now surgery is pending. They may leave the bullet inside of me,” Nix told the South Bend Tribune on Friday from his hospital room. “I don’t know how that’ll go, but they say it’s a delicate situation as far as the bullet being in my [left] lung.
“And then I’ve got a fractured sternum, too. My chest hurts. Breathing ain’t the best, but I’m alive. And I’m thankful to be alive.”
Nix, who played collegiately at Notre Dame from 2010-13, added that he was scheduled to undergo video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) Monday to remove blood from his lung. He told the newspaper Sunday that he’s “feeling better…but I realize now it’s going to be a long road.”
According to an incident report, Nix told deputies he was approached by two young men, one of whom shined a flashlight in his face before saying “give me.” He claimed to police he was shot after pushing one of the suspects.
Nix has since watched security footage from the gas station; he believes the two men were attempting to rob him. The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Department tweeted out photos last week of the suspects taken from the video footage.
“They were already there before I pulled up,” Nix said. “There was a guy in the same area putting air in his tires, as well.
“When I pulled up, the guys kind of scurried behind the little car wash. And after the other guy left, I pulled up. I had my doors open. I didn’t think anything was a threat. Boom, that’s when they came out.”
Nix’s mother started a GoFundMe page to help with medical expenses, which had raised more than $37,000 as of Monday morning.
“I can feel the love,” Nix said. “So many people have reached out to be on social media, and I appreciate the support and prayers. My family has been very supportive, too. My brother, mom and girlfriend come by every day to see me.
“They’re mostly worried, though. We don’t know how it’ll go if they decide to keep the bullet in. They don’t know how it’ll affect my everyday life, going forward. We just have to pray everything will be OK.”