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Boy, 8, shot in head in Westwood making ‘miracle’ recovery

Marcellus Whitehead was in a coma for two weeks following the quadruple shooting.
Published: Jul. 2, 2021 at 5:19 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - An 8-year-old critically injured in a Westwood shooting three weeks ago is making a miraculous recovery, according to his mother.

Marcellus Whitehead was one of two young boys shot on June 12 at McHenry and Cavanaugh avenues.

Marcellus’s older brother has said they were walking to meet a friend when they stopped at a corner store for snacks. That’s when the gunfire began.

A 6-year-old was hospitalized and released days later.

Police initially described Marcellus as being in “very, very bad shape.” According to a GoFundMe set up to help pay for his medical expenses, Marcellus was shot twice in the head and leg.

Doctors at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center placed him in a medically induced coma a day after the shooting.

>> Suspect charged in Westwood quadruple shooting

Marcella Thompson is the boy’s mother.

“I really believed in my heart I was losing my 8-year-old son, because I was told that he will not make it through the night,” she said.

Thompson recalls doctors told her even if Marcellus did wake up, he might be brain dead.

“That did not happen,” she said. “My baby woke up. He was not brain dead.”

Marcellus began opening his eyes last week, Thompson says. His right eye remains open all day, while his left is coming along.

It’s been painful for Thompson to watch her young son go through the ordeal.

“The journey has been very hard and difficult, seeing my child like this, you know? Not hearing his voice (...) Not being able to see him move or communicate with me,” she said. “It’s been really hard. It’s really been a ‘faith in God’ type of journey to me.”

Thompson says going up to see her son on the fifth floor of Cincinnati Children’s every day is especially tough.

“Is this really happening? Is this really my reality? Is this really my life? Did I deserve this? Did my 8-year-old son, who was an honor roll student and a youth athlete deserve this? Is this really my child laying here?”

But with Marcellus’s progress, she says she has renewed hope.

“My baby’s a miracle,” she said.

Thompson believes Marcellus will make a full recovery. In the meantime, she’s asking for continued prayers from the community. She also wants people to put down their guns in the streets so no mother will go through what she’s gone through.

“When y’all hurt people, y’all hurt families, y’all hurt mothers, grandmothers... y’all just everybody,” she said.

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