Woman, 32, rebuilding life after shooting

January 26, 1996|By Dan Thanh Dang | Dan Thanh Dang,SUN STAFF

"One minute," Lisa M. Farhat said quietly.

That's all the time it took for a robber to confront the 32-year-old Edgewood hairdresser and fire the bullet that shattered her life Jan. 6, leaving her paralyzed from the waist down.

"In a blink of an eye, he changed my life completely," Ms. Farhat said yesterday, speaking publicly for the first time since the bullet pierced her right shoulder and lodged in the canal of her spinal cord.

At a news conference at Montebello Rehabilitation Hospital in Baltimore, Ms. Farhat tearfully remembered the attack and cautioned others about her experience -- one in a series of robberies victimizing women returning home after dark.

State police renewed a plea to the public for help in finding the man believed responsible for shooting Ms. Farhat and robbing five other women in the Edgewood area this month.

"I've tried explaining this to my children," Ms. Farhat said of her wheelchair. "They keep asking me, 'Are you going to get up now?' It's hard for the kids to understand that this is probably going to be a permanent thing."

The shooting -- witnessed by her son, 5, and daughter, 7 -- happened about 11 p.m. that Saturday as Ms. Farhat returned home in the 600 block of Burlington Court, police said. She had just left her car and walked to the front door with her son when she saw a man riding a bicycle on the sidewalk.

As she opened the door, she said, "I felt him grabbing on my purse. I said, 'No,' and then I heard a pop, and I fell back into my house. It happened so quickly."

The suspect fled on foot without the purse, leaving the red and black, 26-inch, 10-speed Casino MT Ranger bicycle with metal liquor bottle-type caps inserted among the wheel spokes.

A fund has been set up to defray medical expenses for Ms. Farhat. Donations can be sent to the Lisa Farhat Foundation, P.O. Box 356, Monkton 21111; or call 296-6822 for information.

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