Last month, 4-year-old Na'vaun Jackson, of Oakland, California, accidentally shot himself in the head after finding a gun under a pillow at the home of his mother’s estranged boyfriend. After the injury, Na'vaun was placed in a medically induced coma and his family was told he’d likely be brain-dead and never walk again.
Ever since Na'vaun’s injury, his mother, Brijjanna Price, and the rest of his family remained by his bedside, praying for the best. Their prayers were recently answered when the 4-year-old opened his eyes for the first time.
On Thursday, Price told reporters with WUSA9 that her son has been let out of the intensive care unit and is breathing on his own. Na'vaun has even been able to sip through a straw.
Although Na'vaun’s condition appears to be on an upswing, his family, who have already lost four relatives to gun violence, still has a difficult time reliving the March 27 shooting.
The gun Na'vaun found belonged to family friend Terrence Wilson, who was prohibited from owning a firearm due to prior felony convictions, KRON4 reported. When Na'vaun found the gun under Wilson’s pillow, it was unlocked and loaded.
Police have charged Wilson with possession of a firearm by a felon and child abuse.
"It was real irresponsible," Ramon Price, Na’vaun’s grandfather, told CNN. "And unfortunately it was my grandson who got to pay the ultimate price."
While Na'vaun’s condition has stabilized, his family was told he suffered permanent, irreversible brain damage.
"We maintain our faith and pray that things will turn out and he will leave [the hospital], but with the extent of his injuries, he'll never be the same," his great-aunt Jamilia Land told CNN.
Ramon Price started a Gofundme account for Jackson's medical expenses.
Nathan Jackson, Na'vaun's father, is currently in prison and has been petitioning California Gov. Gavin Newsom to be released so he can visit his son. So far, he’s been unsuccessful.