11-year-old Oklahoma boy thriving after shot by mother in head

Posted at 12:45 PM, May 30, 2018

OWASSO, Okla. -- An 11-year old boy is defying the odds every day just by being alive. 

Joey Slaight was shot in the head by mother in 2015 in a small village in Wisconsin. 

"He was shot second, so he saw his little brother killed and he ran and hid," Randa Slaight, Joey's grandmother, said. 

It was almost a double murder-suicide. Joey's younger brother was killed, the then 8-year old Joey was shot and his mother turned the gun on herself. 

Joey's family said his mother was a recovering drug addict and suffered from mental illness. 

"It was the most pain I think I've ever felt," Slaight said. 

Paralyzing fear rocked the child's family in Owasso. Joey had a bullet lodged in his eye. 

Doctors were apprehensive to operate on the child. They were scared he would have no quality of life if he survived. 

There was one neurologist in Madison, Wisconsin who agreed. 

"There were days we just wanted the doctors to lie to us," Andra Munoz, Joey's aunt and legal guardian, said. "Tell us of a case that you know of where they lived. Tell us of a case that you know of that they did survive the night. Tell us something that we can grab on to." 

His outlook was grim. Doctors told family they did not think he would ever walk or talk again. 

Half of Joey's brain was gone. 

"We were told he would never speak and so we were dealing with that," Slaight said. "Now it's so much that sometimes I want to say give it a rest."

Three years after his original prognosis, Joey is living with his aunt and is overwhelmed with love by his family. 

The 11-year old will start special education school in the fall.

His family does not know where he will be education-wise, but to them it is just a blessing that he can talk and walk. 

"When he will stumble or make a mistake, that hurts me because he didn't before," Slaight said. "Baseball season comes, but you know what he can hit the ball. I don't pitch so well, but he can hit the ball." 

The family admits there are hard day,s but they marvel at every little milestone he achieves. 

"We believe he is going to continue to blow everybody away," Munoz said. 

The family is still adjusting to their new life with Joey. They believe he will need help navigating the rest of his life. They do hope he will one day be able to get a job of his own.

The family is looking for recommendations on special education programs to enroll him in.

Click here to follow Joey's journey or recommend programs to the family.