Ronald Poppo has undergone multiple facial surgeries and skin grafts since the attack (jacksonhealth/Reuters)
Ronald Poppo has undergone multiple facial surgeries and skin grafts since the attack (jacksonhealth/Reuters)

A homeless man who had most of his face chewed off in a 'zombie flesh-eating' attack in Miami last year is recovering well and appears to be in good spirits, doctors have said.

New photos of Ronald Poppo have emerged a year on from his ordeal at the hands of 31-year-old Rudy Eugene, who attacked him on Miami's MacArthur causeway while naked and high on drugs.

Poppo, 66, lost one of his eyes, his nose and most of the skin on his face following the unprovoked attack alongside the busy motorway in broad daylight.

Eugene was shot dead by police when they arrived on the scene.

After four courses of surgery to help rebuild his face, doctors have now said Poppo is recovering well in hospital, but will never regain his sight.

He spent nearly a month at Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital, recovering from his severe facial injuries, before being moved to Jackson Memorial Perdue Medical Center, a long-term care facility in Cutler Bay.

Jackson Memorial Hospital plastic surgeon Dr. Woody Kassira said: "He's had a long year, but has managed to cope quite well.

A second plastic surgeon, Dr Urmen Desai, added: "He can't see what he looks like, and it's not important to him how the world sees him.

"He wants the world to know he is not traumatised by this, and that he's grateful and happy. He's a simple guy who's happy just being alive.

"Things are very positive for Mr. Poppo."

Ronald Eugene was shot dead by police following the attack (Reuters)
Rudy Eugene was shot dead by police following the attack (Reuters)

Docotors added that during his recovery, Poppo gained more than 50 lbs (22 kg) and continues to work with an occupational therapist, who has taught him how to dress himself, feed himself, shower and shave.

A video of Poppo in hospital playing guitar, joking with the nurses and thanking those who have wished him well over the past year has also been released by the hospital. Poppo has also rejected further reconstructive work on his face as he is "very content with where he is right now".

In the video, Poppo said: "People in my predicament need to be helped out, and I'm sure there's other people also that have the same type of predicament. I thank the outpouring of people contributing, I'll always be grateful for that."

Poppo does not feel any resentment towards Eugene, telling Adolfa Sigue, nurse manager at the Jackson Memorial Perdue Medical Center, where he lives, that "I'm sure that that man had a bad day that day".

There was speculation that Eugene attacked Poppo after taking the mind-altering drug known as bath salts, and officers suggested the attacker had been suffering from a "cocaine psychosis".

However, toxicology tests after his death revealed only marijuana was present in Eugene's system.

Poppo's care is covered by Medicaid, and a Jackson Memorial Foundation fund has raised $100,000 (£66,000) for his medical expenses from the public.