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HOUSTON -- Since an accidental shooting in a northeast Houston restaurant earlier this year, a Kingwood grandmother can walk, but not without a brace or a cane.

It s been a long recovery for Diana Barker; and nearly five months after she was shot while eating dinner at Raffa s, she s still struggling to get her life back.

The 71-year-old woman was shot in the rear on Jan. 13 as she dined with her husband and friends. Police said the man sitting next to her, who has a concealed-handgun license, had a gun in his jacket. It fell out of his pocket, onto the floor and fired.

Barker said she thought was she was going to die moments after the gun fired.

Suddenly there was this almighty bang -- nobody knew what it was and then suddenly I felt a bullet go in my rear, said Barker. I shouted, I ve been shot, and I guess I slumped to the floor at that stage, and I remember Paul screaming, Get the police, get the ambulance.

Paramedics rushed Barker to Ben Taub Hospital.

I thought I was going to die, I really didn t think at that stage, I really wasn t sure where I was, or what was going on, and I really didn t know anything for the next four days, said Barker.

Barker woman spent two weeks at Ben Taub Hospital and was later transferred to TIRR, where she spent the next four weeks.

One cannot believe how your life can change from a happy occasion, sitting having dinner and suddenly, you don t go home again for six weeks and it s a life-and-death situation, said Barker.

She s already had three surgeries and will need a least one more.

It perforated all of my intestines, so I do have a colostomy, which hopefully will be reversed in due course, lots of pain, lots of suffering, she said.

Barker s medical bills already come to more than $300,000. She has filed a civil lawsuit against the gun owner.

The Harris County District Attorney s office is investigating the case, but at this time, the gun owner, who also lives in Kingwood, is not facing criminal charges. The Barkers said they would like criminal charges brought against the gun owner, but she doesn t feel that he deserves jail time.

In a previous interview with KHOU 11 News, the gun owner said he didn t realize he had a loaded gun in his jacket because he hadn t worn that jacket in at least a year.

He s changed our lives, not just mine, the whole family, said Barker. I don t know the man, I ve never heard from him, so I don t know what type of man he is, but I just hope he everyday thinks about the pain that I ve suffered.

Her husband said gun safety has become a passion in their house.

I think it has to be brought home to people that this can lead to huge consequences, either loss of life, or considerable expense as far as medical bills are concerned, or spoiling people s lives or having the potential of ruling people s lives, said Paul Barker.

Portions of Barker s left leg and foot are paralyzed. She said she hopes to one day regain the feeling in her leg and foot and walk again without assistance.

I have great faith and hope that things will work out like that, she said. It has not been easy, it has been a long haul and a struggle, but thanks to a wonderful husband and family and friends, I ve made it.

On Thursday, Barker and others will be honored at the Harris County Hospital District s Trauma Survivors Celebration.

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