DuSable Lake Shore Drive

Toddler shot in head 2 years ago in road rage incident adjusts to life's challenges

"It's stuck in the back of your head, like it happened last night."

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Many consider 4-year-old Kayden Swann to be a walking miracle, having survived a shooting two years ago and adjusting to his new life every since.          

Kayden was shot in the head two years ago during a road rage incident on DuSable Lake Shore Drive.

“It’s stuck in the back of your head, like it happened last night,” said his mom, Jalisa Hooks. “I was hurt.”

Kayden would ultimately spend a month and a half in Lurie Children’s Hospital, spending part of that time in a medically-inducted coma.

Fortunately, he did not suffer brain damage from the shooting, but he did lose his sight.

“Everything is normal, he just blind,” Hooks said. “You should see some of the things he can do. One morning, I came out and he was on top of the refrigerator.”

Research finds that child survivors of gun violence can endure a lifetime of physical and mental health challenges.

A new study from the American Academy of Pediatrics points to the urgent need for connecting children to mental health services following a firearm injury.

Jalisa says she would be open to speaking with someone about the trauma the shooting caused her entire family.

Earlier this month, DeAndre Binion, the man who shot Kayden, pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated discharge of a firearm.

He was sentenced to four years in prison, with two years mandatory supervised release.  He also received 906 days credit for time served.

Kayden’s mom says the sentence is not fair – but she’s choosing to focus on her son’s future instead. She says a full- time aide to help Kayden navigate preschool is not available, so she stays at home with him and is not able to work.

She has an online fundraiser to help with their expenses.

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