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deonta howard 3-yaer-old shot in chicago

A 3-year-old boy who once loved to go to the park is now afraid, after being shot in the face during a gang-retaliation shooting in Chicago last week.

But Deonta’ Howard is showing his bravery, as he struggles to recover from the wound that will now require him to undergo plastic surgery for at least a decade. And despite a swollen eye and stitches in his jaw, mouth and nose, mother Shamarah Leggett said her little boy is in high spirits.

“As his mother, I can only be strong because he’s strong,” Leggett said Tuesday, according to DNAinfo Chicago. “He’s doing better than I expected. He’s moving around, playing — he’s back to Deonta’.”

He is, however, emotionally scarred.

“He thinks he’s going to get shot in the park,” Leggett told CBS Chicago. “That’s all he keeps saying is he’s going to get shot in the park. ‘I don’t want to go back to the park. That man, he was in the park with a gun.’”

“It ain’t ever going to be the same,” Leggett added, telling NBC Chicago she plans to move from Back of the Yards because she no longer feels safe.

Pastor Cory Brooks of New Beginnings Church has been sharing photos of Deonta’s progress, which his mother calls a “miracle.”

We’re praying for his speedy recovery.

SOURCE: Chicago CBS | PHOTO CREDIT: Pastor Corey Brooks

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