Jayden Cardoso suffered injuries including a broken pelvis, broken wrist, stiches, and bruising to his face, and his parents have been by his bedside ever since.
"I just want to see my baby brother," Jayden said in video released by his family. "I just want to go home."
TOP NEWS | Exclusive video: Man intervenes as woman slashed on subway platform in heart of NYC
His parents are just happy he's alive, but they know he has a long recovery ahead.
"He just keeps saying he's sorry," dad Reyes Cardoso said.
It happened just after 5 p.m. Wednesday at Rudd playground at Bushwick Avenue and Aberdeen Street, where police say Cardoso entered a fenced off area while playing with friends.
He didn't know the grate was missing, however, and he plummeted 20 to 25 feet and landed adjacent to the L train tracks.
Neighbors tell Eyewitness News that vagrants trying to get into the subway likely removed the protection around the grate, although police have not released further details.
"An unfortunate occurrence, in memory, this is the first such incident to occur related to a grate in one of our parks," the parks department said in a statement. "The health and safety of this child is on hearts and minds. We are happy to hear that he was safely removed from inside the subway grate that runs through Rudd Playground by good Samaritans.
Officials say the grate is typically security by fencing on all sides, which was installed when the playground was reconstructed. They say it was vandalized, however, and the fasteners were cut and the fence peeled back. It has since been re-secured.
Witnesses said the boy's pregnant mother initially tried to jump down, but instead, half a dozen men playing basketball nearby along with the boy's father sprung into action.
They worked together, using a dog leash to pull him to safety.
"Some people were able to help me, and I was able to get down their and get him up," Reyes Cardoso said. "He was just screaming...No parent should have to see their child go through that. It's tough."
ALSO READ | 14-year-old gives birth and hands baby to customer at restaurant
The investigation into the incident is ongoing.
* More Brooklyn news
* Send us a news tip
* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts
* Follow us on YouTube
Submit a News Tip