Toddler hurt in accidental shooting now stable

FOX 35 News at 10 p.m.

- Relatives of a toddler who shot himself in the face say he is in critical, but stable, condition.  Ethan Walker is making a remarkable recovery, they say, after accidentally shooting himself in the head.   "He is out of the worst of the woods, so there's a road to follow right now," says family friend Tanya Naylon.

It was Monday evening, when emergency rescuers rushed to the two-year-old boy's house in St Cloud. Deputies say the toddler found a handgun in his grandpa's truck and it went off.  As people panicked,  Tanya says Ethan was the one trying to calm everyone down.  "He was actually rubbing the person that was holding him and telling him that it was going to be ok. He is a miracle baby!"

A miracle in more way than one, Tanya explains. "Where the bullet entered was on the right side of his brain, which controls the left side of his body. His left side, we don't know if it was paralyzed, but it was not moving." 

But on Thursday, something incredible happened. "He was getting a bath and the nurse made him mad and he lifted his hand up to tell her to stop so it was amazing."

Tanya says Ethan's parents had a baby girl who had a life-threatening disease and passed away back in 2011.  They believe she's watching over her little brother from heaven.  "She lost her first little girl and we think that she's right on his shoulder and she's helping him through."

While Ethan's medical expenses are covered under insurance, Tanya says, she created a fund to help his parents, who aren't able to go to work right now.  "I decided to do the Go Fund Me to where they can have as much assistance as possible and Ethan can have his parents by his side where they should be."

Ethan's uncle says the family members are responsible gun owners, but realizes more could have been done to secure the weapon. He says it was holstered and under some metal material in the side pocket of the door. "Keep your guns secure, it was an accident."

Deputies continue to investigate the apparent accidental shooting and haven't decided if charges will be filed.
Meanwhile, Tanya is asking for plenty of prayers as Ethan recovers. "Any good thoughts send them this way. Especially Ethan, he needs it. He can feel all the good vibes."

For Ethan's fund, click here

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