WOIO, CLEVELAND, Ohio – A small youngster who was unintentionally shot in the head by a younger sibling overcomes all odds to survive.
You were initially informed about this story by 19 News back in May.
On Tuesday, Nariah Gilner, age seven, of Cleveland, was allowed to go back to her house after spending months at a rehabilitation facility and Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital.
Even though Nariah needs a wheelchair and is wearing a helmet to protect her head until an operation replaces some of the missing bone, she still has her lively personality and told 19 News, “I’ve been in the hospital too long.”
Nariah’s mother Justice Smith said when her daughter was accidentally shot in the head back in May by a younger sibling, doctors at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland did everything they could to help her.
At the time, they told her mother that the 7-year-old would not survive.
“At first they were saying that the bullet ha hit a vessel that they could not repair and basically she wasn’t going to make it,” Smith said.
But, even with a traumatic brain injury that impacted her motor skills and memory, her mother never gave up, and Nariah kept fighting for her life.
Nariah says, “I’m super strong. I’ve been doing pushups.”
Smith tells 19 News that finally having her daughter back home is like a dream, “It’s unbelievable, unspeakable. I wake up every day and wonder if I am dreaming. Is she really here?”
There’s no doubt about it, Nariah is here, she beat the odds, and she’s a survivor. Nariah is thriving despite being struck in the head by a bullet that could have killed her.
Smith said, “She wasn’t talking, she wasn’t eating. She eats on her own now. In therapy, she’s trying to take steps.”
The family has gladly altered their living space to accommodate Nariah’s needs, putting in a portable wheelchair ramp outside, and a medical bed and plastic tub in the living room.
Her mother admits transportation to and from doctor appointments is the biggest challenge at the moment for a family with a total of seven young children.
But, Nariah is focused on returning to school one day and is hopeful that she will walk again
“She really wants to walk, and when Nariah wants to do something, she does it. I believe that she will walk,” Smith said.
A young family and a 7-year-old child who, despite gun violence and their lowest point, never lost up hope.
She gives me strength, according to her mother.
A little child named Nariah is more animated than ever as she performs a song she recently learned for us, “Here we go Brownies, here we go!” There is also a real miracle in Cleveland who has been given a second chance at life. Go, go, woof.