Cape Town - A six-year-old Hanover Park boy is in intensive care after a bullet punctured his kidneys and pancreas and just missed his spinal cord.
Ziyaad George was playing outside his home in Lomond Court on Sunday when he was caught in crossfire during a suspected gang shooting.
A 22-year-old man was also shot and died.
Ziyaad’s mother, Fazlin George, said she was cleaning the house and her son was playing outside when the shooting broke out.
“It was just before 10am and I put on some gospel music and his father was sitting at the door when someone shouted that my son was shot,” George told the Cape Argus on Tuesday.
The mother of five said she ran outside to find her son in a neighbour’s car. Ziyaad was rushed to hospital.
“My brother and neighbour were in the car with him and then I held him on my lap, there was a lot of blood,” she said.
“His eyes rolled and I kept telling him to stay awake as we drove to the Hanover Park Day Hospital.”
The bullet passed through Ziyaad’s left arm and left side and stopped at his spinal chord, George said.
Ziyaad was transferred to the Red Cross Children’s Hospital where he had an operation to remove the bullet. He is in the hospital’s ICU.
“The doctors said the bullet damaged his kidneys and pancreas and touched his spinal cord,” George said. “There is still swelling around his spinal cord and he can move his right leg, but not his left leg.”
George added that her son was to enter Grade 1 next year, but now she did not know whether he would be able to.
“He is so small and witty, but I don’t know about his future now,” she said. “I just want to be strong for him.”
George said the gang violence was “very bad” in Hanover Park.
“There is a field behind our block, where [gangsters] always shoot at each other,” she said.
“We must lie on the ground when the shooting starts, and some people even put their TVs on the floor because bullets end up damaging the TVs.
“[During] Guy Fawkes, a friend’s three-year-old son was shot in the arm. It is heartbreaking. Children can’t play outside any more.”
Ziyaad’s father, Cleveland George, said he was just happy that his son was alive.
“When I visited him in hospital, I pinched his left leg, but he could not feel it,” he said with tears in his eyes.
“He was only playing like any other child.”