A woman by name Takieyah Reaves, from Newark, New Jersey, now lives with her intestines hanging out of her abdomen after surviving a horrific nightclub shooting.

In July 2017, Reaves, 32, defied death to survive being shot twice in her stomach and right leg by a random attacker who sprayed bullets at a crowd of nightclubbers, injuring three people.

One of the bullets tore her stomach all the way open, and it was a wonder that she pulled through in the wake of undergoing intensive surgery to fix her harmed intestines.


After doctors sewed her up, the size of the injury on her stomach made it difficult to close, compelling her to live with a vast gap in her torso and with the inside of her digestion system completely uncovered.

Takieyah was shot twice in her stomach and right leg by a random attacker who sprayed bullets at a crowd of nightclubbers

Her scar looks so big that some people even mistake it for pregnancy.

Her mother, Tammi Reaves-Duncan, nursed Takieyah; as she recovered, she even entered into depression due to her “deformity.”

In an interview with Metro UK, Takieyah, a criminal justice student, told the newspaper company that: “It will get patched up properly, but it has been left open and exposed ever since it happened. It bulges, and I am constantly asked if I am pregnant when I go out. People ask me if it’s a boy or a girl, and I then have to explain everything.”

Takieyah during that period lost 4.5 liters of blood and withstood death to survive the shooting. 

She continued: “I wasn’t supposed to make it out of the emergency clinic alive. My family was advised to state their farewells. I am so thankful to be here and be given another opportunity at life, but I can’t resist feeling discouraged by what I looked like.”

Takieyah receiving intensive care after been shot

“I kept my stomach concealed from everybody for quite a while, even from my children. I was so discouraged by my body, I had scars all finished, and I detested it.”

“I simply wanted to curl up in a ball and hide, and I was terrified to go outside as a result of weapons in the city.”

“I also didn’t want anyone to see my body, so I found it hard to live my life as normal.”

Doctors created a makeshift lining for Takieyah’s stomach by using skin from her leg. 

“It has transformed me, yet I am so appreciative I am as yet ready to bring up my children. I was discouraged for some time; however, I concluded that I was unable to go on like that for the good of them. ‘I do need my body back. However, I consider them to be my war scars. Individuals disclose to me how wonderful I am, and I have figured out how to grasp what occurred.”

Beautiful Takieyah poses for the camera

Following three years of living with an open stomach, the mother of two is set to have her stomach sewed back together for good, toward the finish of June this year.

Speaking about the day she was shot, she said, “I thought I was kicking the bucket, and I was so frightened about leaving my children without a mother. It was too alarming and excruciating- it felt like fire was running through my veins.

“I was simply in an unlucky spot, the person was firing off gunshots, and I remained in the entryway. I didn’t understand I had been taken shots from the outset, yet then I fell.”

“I was at the doorstep of the club when I got shot. I had an inclination that I needed to rest. My friend Lavona continued advising me to keep my eyes open and tune in to the voices.”


“I loosed 4.5 liters of blood, and my PCPs revealed to me my heart halted on the surgical table, however, I returned. I had a medical procedure to remove the bullets, however, they needed to leave my stomach open this way.”

Before the incident, Takieyah says that she had no issues with the legality of guns but in the aftermath, her decision has completely changed – she is now “completely” opposed to it.

She said: “I am totally against guns being legal. I need to see them obliterated from the streets.”

She said: “I want to use what happened to me to make a difference.”

Takieyah Reaves, pictured with friends, is now a campaigner against gun violence.

Currently, Takieyah is helping to run the New Jersey chapter of campaign group Bullets 4 Life. After she graduates, she might want to work in schools and educate children on the dangers and impact of gun violence.

“When I graduate from college I want to work inside the criminal justice system and I need to go into schools to instruct kids on the best way to remain safe and to bring issues to light of the impacts of weapon wrongdoing.”

“I was similarly as stunned about my stomach as every other person however I need to utilize what befell me to have any kind of effect.”

“I have progressed significantly over the most recent three years. I am not reluctant to go out alone and am attempting to carry on with my life as ordinary. I am feeling generally excellent about the future at this point.”

By Kwesi Appiah

Appiah Kwesi Anokye Dennis Jnr, professionally known as Kwesi Appiah is a Ghanaian celebrity blogger and writer.

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