The toddler shot during what was believed to be a road rage shooting on Lake Shore Drive "remains in very critical condition" as he shows "some improvement in brain function," the boy's doctor said Friday.
Dr. Marcelo Malakooti, of Lurie Children's Hospital in Chicago, said in a statement Friday morning that 21-month-old Kayden Swann is being treated in the pediatric ICU "where he is requiring full critical care support."
"Over the past 24 hours, the patient has remained critically ill but has been starting to demonstrate some improvement in brain function," Malakooti, the pediatric ICU's medical director, said. "He continues to require a ventilator to support his breathing and ICU therapies to continue to support his brain during this tenuous period."
Malakooti added that the boy's mother and grandmother "remain by his side and are receiving care from our family life and social work teams to help them manage the trauma the family is experiencing."
The boy's medical team said the day before that they were "optimistic" as the toddler was "demonstrating some return in brain activity."
"While it is still very early to make any meaningful prediction about his total recovery, we are optimistic about the clinical signs we are seeing," Malakooti said Thursday. "We are still in an essential time window to gauge what the path ahead shows however."
Kayden was riding in a car that was involved in an alleged road rage incident on the roadway Tuesday morning, according to police. Police said they believe that a person in another vehicle began firing shots at the car that Kayden was in, with the gunfire continuing for several blocks.
Kayden was shot in the temple and the eventually car crashed near Monroe and Lake Shore Drive, police said. A good Samaritan took the toddler to Northwestern Memorial Hospital and he was later transferred to Lurie Children’s Hospital, where he remains in a medical coma.
Jushawn Brown, a 43-year-old man from Englewood, was charged with a felony count of unlawful use of a weapon in connection with the incident, police said early Thursday.
In Brown's bond hearing on Thursday, prosecutors said he is Kayden's grandfather and was driving with his girlfriend and grandson north on Lake Shore Drive when an SUV that was speeding and merging into his lane almost hit his vehicle.
Authorities said Brown yelled at the driver and both stopped and exchanged words, at which point the other driver produced a gun, and Brown showed his own gun. Both vehicles took off, prosecutors said, and the SUV driver fired shots at the car, hitting Kayden in the head.
Prosecutors said the shell casing at the scene was not from Brown's gun and that he never fired his weapon. Police at the hospital learned Brown had a firearm, prosecutors said, noting he does not have a felony background, nor does he have a FOID card or concealed carry license.
A judge ordered Brown held on a $5,000 bond.
The other driver has not been identified or taken into custody, according to police, who continue to investigate.