BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Every step toward recovery has been nothing shy of a miracle for Juan Rodriguez’s family.
“He doesn’t give up and he tells me all the time I’m doing great I’m making progress. I’m really working hard because I want to come home,” said Sonia Pagan, Juan’s mother.
Back in June, a bullet struck then 11-year-old Rodriguez in the head in a gang related shooting. He was an innocent bystander.
After months of rehab and surgeries, doctors say he’s well enough to leave the hospital. But the road ahead is still long. The 12-year-old has an open wound in his head,
“His skull is gone over here right now so it’s just soft tissue pushed in it’s not round so you got to wrap it and then put the helmet on,” said Pagan.
Juan also has little to no mobility in the left side of his body, and needs a wheelchair to get around. His mother Sonia says they won’t return to their home on Humason Avenue. She thought she found a new one, only to learn that her $800 security deposit was lost and the home is not ready.
“There’s money floating around that’s supposed to be towards roofing for us,” said Pagan.
Matters were also complicated with the gofundme account, created just days after the shooting.
“The card was under my name somebody decided to put it under their name and not say anything,” said Pagan.
Though the bullet caused both physical and cognitive damage, it hasn’t dulled Juan’s positive spirit. His mother Sonia says that’s what keeps her going.
Buffalo Police are still investigating the shooting and who’s responsible. Police say detectives are continuing to make progress.
Juan’s mother says she doesn’t know where they’re going to go when he leaves the hospital in Rochester on Friday.
To help support Juan’s expenses, go to the following link: https://www.gofundme.com/2c722ukc