PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The mother of a man who was shot and wounded in a bar by a heavily armed man is now talking about the shooting and how her son is doing.

Joey Quirk, 32, was sitting at the bar at the Fort Pitt Inn next to his friend, James Adams, who went down with the first shot.

The second shot caught Joey just below his left eye and exited the right side of his face, splintering his jaw.

“Well, in three days, he’s improved a lot,” said Joanne Quirk, Joey’s mom. “He’s still on a ventilator… and he’s got a feeding tube. He’s got a lot of facial damage, a lot of reconstruction surgery still to do.”

Survival that first day was only a prayer.

“He’s a strong boy. It missed a lot of vital organs in his head that he needs, so he’s very lucky,” she said. “Very lucky.”

It’s a thankfulness tempered by grief.

“His friend is dead,” Joanne said. “Those parents lost their only son and I feel very bad for them.”

Support for Joey is pouring in on “Pray for Joey” Facebook page. He has a lot of friends, including Logan Irvine, who works with him at Latitude 40.

“He’s a great guy, a great worker. He’s always trying to pep us up when we’re working and everything,” said Irvine. “He’s always in a good mood.”

Wednesday was his mother’s birthday.

“He gave me a birthday hug last night,” Joanne said of her son. “They let him out of his sedation for that, and he answered a few questions, yes or no, you know.”

But most of the time, the Navy veteran is being sedated. So, his mother took a few minutes on Thursday to go upstairs at Allegheny General to see the hero of that night, Jerry Maroni.

“To thank him for saving my son’s life; he could have bled to death on that floor. He saved all of them people in that bar that night,” said Joanne.

For Joey, doctors say the long-term challenges are unknown. But his mother says the “prognosis right now is good.”

“He’s healing, that’s all I can say,” she said.

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