LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Just days before Christmas, a family is recovering after a man is suspected of shooting his 4-year-old before turning the gun on himself.
The family tells WAVE 3 News the remarkable recovery after a tragic day.
“The day of was the worst day, because I thought I had already lost him,” Arielle Amaya said of her 4-year-old son.
Elan Amaya looking at death in the face, after he was shot in the head.
“He wasn’t moving, he wasn’t breathing. I didn’t see him moving or breathing for ten minutes.”
In the Hillview neighborhood, Arielle Amaya, ran across the street to a neighbor’s home battered and beaten. Amaya looked for help away from the gunman. Elan’s dad, who ended up committing suicide during the incident two days before Christmas.
It wasn’t long after Elan was admitted to the hospital. Amaya had to face the tough decision, doctors told her she would have to make; keep Elan alive, or take him off life support.
“On the seventh day, the doctors said he wasn’t going to make it through the night,” Amaya said.
However, the 4-year-old, taking after his mom, proved to be a fighter with a big heart. Elan Amaya defied all odds, making people believe in miracles, making strides to returning to himself.
“He won’t give up, that’s one of the things I love about him. He does not give up,” Amaya said. “If he can’t do, he will sit there and practice until he gets it and doesn’t give up. That’s who he is.”
Elan loves to ride his bike, be adventurous and stay active outdoors. He would get anxious during quarantine if he wasn’t able to get outside and play around.
Amaya reads and talks to Elan everyday, it was routine, even before the shooting. She says Elan finally showed a response when he heard Amaya’s voice. He moved his small fingers, around his mom’s hand, like he always would when she was read and sing to him.
The single mother says it’s Elan and her baby girl, Carolyn Rosa, who keep her going everyday.
In the face of adversity, a traumatizing feat, Amaya puts on a brave face full of grace and says she is pushing to be the best version of herself for her kids who give her everything.
”I don’t like to think of the event, because of Elan and his progress is what’s important to me,” Amaya said. “He actually makes me not want to go there. Why look at the negative? When I’m seeing the positive in him.”
Arielle, Carolyn Rosa and Elan, would appreciate receiving cards and notes. Arielle Amaya gets the cards sent to the Hillview Police Department.
To send a card or note to Elan, mail the note to Hillview Police Department at 283 Crestwood Rd, Louisville, KY 40229.
To donate to the family’s GoFundMe page, click or tap here.
Editor’s Note : Previous story listed Elan’s age as 6-years-old, based on information provided by Hillview Police at the time of writing.