Boy shot, blinded now an inspiration to other gun violence victims

Malakai Roberts was struck by a bullet in the temple, leaving him blind, while sitting inside his Lexington home just days before Christmas in 2020.
Published: Mar. 21, 2022 at 5:10 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Too often, children tragically become victims of gun violence.

In the face of such tragedy, Malakai Roberts, a child who survived gun violence, has inspired so many. While sitting inside his Lexington home with his mother Cacy just days before Christmas in 2020, Malakai was struck by a bullet in the temple, leaving him blind.

Roberts, a student at the Kentucky School for the Blind and a Game Changers Future Healers Got Zoo Buddies participant, gathered with several other children on Monday at the Galt House who had suffered secondary trauma as a result of violence. Roberts, his mother, and several other children got to meet Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who is also an ophthalmologist.

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Christopher 2X, founder of the Game Changers program, said it’s essential for children who have been exposed to violence to understand that they don’t have to live a violent life.

“One thing we are trying to do with four to 13-year-olds, we are allowing them and these two programs to be examples to say, ‘You may be hurt or damaged, but you don’t have to follow that pathway,’” 2X said. “Look what we are doing. We’ve been hurt. We’ve been impacted by damage, but look what we are doing with our surgeons, medical students, zoo partners — we are trying to make a statement that we don’t have the tools to stop the bleed, but we have the tools to bring inspiration and hope, and these kids almost got hit by bullets.”

While Roberts still has a long way to go, 2X said he is already an inspiration to those with and without sight.

Also in attendance at Monday’s event were Dr. Jason Glass, the commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Education, Dan Maloney, the director of the Louisville Zoo, Ken Reiss, the chair of Kosair Charities, and UofL Health Drs. Keith Miller and Christopher Jones.

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