Update on Boy Accidentally Shot in the Head - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Update on Boy Accidentally Shot in the Head

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PASCO, Wash. -- New information about a Pasco family still looking for answers two years after their son was accidently shot in the head.

The family now hopes a stem cell transplant done in the Dominican Republic will bring back the Tyler Austin of old. Before the accident, 5-year-old Tyler loved playing soccer and hanging out with his brother Antonio. But in a flash, it all changed.

Tyler's mom, April Valladares, says, "The gun went off, it went through two walls, and hit Tyler in the head."

Tyler's stepdad Alvaro says he was showing the gun to a friend. He didn't know there was a bullet in the gun when he released the hammer and the gun fired. He says, "I've done it a thousand times and this time the gun went off."

And with that bullet, a boy's life was changed. April says, "I went from having a perfectly normal 5-year-old boy to one that is completely dependent on me."

April says Tyler now has to use a feeding tube to eat and he relies on his family to change him and make sure he gets properly treated. But she says things have improved. She says, now he laughs, he moves his arms, he moves his legs, he has a normal EEG, which means his brain activity is normal."

Alvaro and April say they hope a stem cell transplant is the route that brings Tyler all the way back. But the procedure will cost the family $30,000. They say it is something they have to do for their son.

Alvaro says, "He did his job and survived, now it is our job to bring him back."

To raise the money, the family is having a benefit dinner and auction at TRAC in Pasco on may 14th at 5:30. Tickets cost $60. 

If you need more information, call 438-8773.