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'Miracle baby' on road to recovery one year after being shot in the head

Posted at 12:47 PM, Dec 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-10 17:21:34-05

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- A toddler that spent Christmas in the hospital last year, is now being called a miracle baby.

One year after the then two-year-old Lavier Robinson was shot in the head while standing in the doorway of his Henrico home, his Grandmother said he’s made a miraculous recovery -- but still has a long way to go.

“Everywhere we go they be like, ‘ain’t that the miracle baby?’” said grandmother Harneatha Atkinson.

Robinson could be seen running around his new Varina home, playing with his siblings, cousins, and twin sister Wednesday.

“He goes up this staircase, comes down that staircase,” said Atkinson. “He runs down the hallway upstairs.”

Atkinson marveled at her grandson’s progress, recalling one year prior, witnessing Lavier get shot. She was putting up the Christmas tree when it happened. Then rushed Lavier to the hospital.

“I thought when I handed my grandbaby over to him (the doctor), I thought that was the end of it,” said Atkinson. “I won’t sit here and say, ‘oh I knew he was going to make it.’ I thought a baby shot in the head… I didn’t think he was going to make it.”

But Lavier never stopped fighting. He spent Christmas in the hospital — but not alone.

“So many supported,” said Atkinson. “Brought toys to the hospital. The room looked like a toy factory — that’s how much toys we had.”

Kele Wright was one of them. On the anniversary of her own daughter’s death, she brought gifts to the hospital.

“I lost my daughter, Amiya Moses, next week will be five years to the day,” said Wright. “My daughter came to me and said go. He’s going to be alright.”

On Wednesday — one year later — Lavier himself got to return the favor. His Grandmother walked him to the tree, her hands over his as they picked up a package, and handed it to Wright.

“Give her a gift, say thank you for coming to see me, say thank you. Give her hug,” said Atkinson.

Atkinson said the past year hasn’t been easy, but she’s hopeful Lavier will eventually make a full recovery.

“It went from eating, to talking a little bit, to walking, and if you look at him now, he’s not really using the left arm. We’re working on the left arm and he’s walking with a limp. So it’s a long recovery,” Atkinson said.

But Lavier showed his stamina Wednesday.

“I’m really fighting back tears right now, because that’s beautiful. Like he’s running around the house... he’s being a kid and he’s going to be able to be a kid,” said Wright.

Lavier, the kid who got a second chance, is no stranger to miracles.

“It’s amazing, where we’re at right now,” said Atkinson. “I mean all I can say is God work in mysterious ways. He did something for a reason and moved us all the way up. This is my inspiration right here.”

Two men were arrested and charged in connection with the 2019 drive-by shooting. That’s 19-year-old Ara Donnell McLaughlin Jr. and 23-year-old Randy Onan Vaughan Jr.

A court appearance for McLaughlin was scheduled for Thursday, but continued for the following week.

Vaughan was set to be due back in court in January.