Miraculous recovery for 5-year-old Bronx boy shot in head on birthday

MORRISANIA, Bronx (WABC) -- Little Jaheem Hunter was shot in the head on his 5th birthday. What should've been a joyful day for the youngster left him on the brink of death.

"He's learning how to walk again, talk again, how to eat again. Do everything normal kids do," said Lauren Gaskins, the victim's aunt. "He's getting there."

It was 5p.m. on a summer's night in June. Jaheem had just finished celebrating his birthday with his father.

They were leaving his apartment on Washington Avenue in the Morrisania section of the Bronx, when someone else's violent dispute crossed their paths. Shots were fired. One hit the little birthday boy in the head.

"I talked to the nurses today. As far as they can see, doing miraculously. Going to make a full recovery," said Barbara Holmes, Jaheem's grandmother.

The family tells Eyewitness News so many people prayed for Jaheem, and all those desperate prayers were answered.

At his rehab facility in Westchester Monday, the young patient was given a Spider-Man toy, which he loves. His grandmother says he didn't speak Monday, but he's listening

"His uncle told him today, 'Jaheem, when you get well, we're going to play basketball.' Jaheem shook his head. He understood," his grandmother said.

As for the horrible shooting, an arrest was made the next day. 27-year-old Michael Quiles, an ex-con on parole for attempted kidnapping, is now charged with attempted murder.

Jaheem's family, meanwhile, continues to cheer for their little boy who loves visitors and French fries.

"His face brightens up. Likes to get hugs. Likes to see everybody," his grandmother said.

Jaheem has limited mobility on his right side, but whether it takes weeks or even a year, they fully expect him to be out playing with the his friends again.
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