WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Wichita boy who was wounded in a road rage shooting last fall has been named the hero of the year at the children’s hospital where he recovered from a stray bullet that shattered his hip bone and lacerated his liver and kidney.
Wesley Children’s Hospital held a ceremony Tuesday that honored Andres Arambula as Kids Wish Network’s hero of the year, the Wichita Eagle reported.
“A very special hero, (Andres) is a courageous little boy who has been through the fight of his life,” said Josh Santiago, marketing manager of Kids Wish Network. The national nonprofit serves children with exceptional medical circumstances.
Police said Andres was among six children inside a sports utility vehicle that was shot at twice by 19-year-old Tylin Atkinson in downtown Wichita on October 17. Investigators determined that the shooting stemmed from a road rage incident.
Atkinson and Ramonyka Smith, 21, have been charged with criminal discharge of a firearm in the shooting. Atkinson also faces an aggravated assault charge. They both remain in Sedgwick County Jail.
Andres, who was 4 at the time, was taken to the hospital in critical condition and had to undergo surgery to remove the bullet and repair his diaphragm and organs. He also went through pain management and physical therapy to help him walk again.
“Andres is not just a hero, but (also) a miracle, because he survived this and dealt with this pain,” said his mother, Lucero Arambula.
The Kids Wish Network gave Andres gifts and a $5,000 check. The organization also donated a pallet of toys worth $20,000 in his name to the Kansas Children’s Foundation.