VANCOUVER, Wash. -- A 3-year-old Vancouver boy is recovering faster than expected after being hit by a car this summer.
The crash left him with a fractured skull, brain damage, and caused him to have a stroke. More than two months later, though, he’s nearly back to normal.
The collision happened in late July in the parking lot of a Safeway on Northeast 63rd Street in Vancouver. The driver, 18-year-old Vancouver man who works at the store, was pulling into a parking spot, just showing up for his shift. For unknown reasons, he accelerated and plowed through a hedge, according to investigators. The teen allegedly drove over 34-year-old Melissa McAllister who was in the parking lot with her sons, 3-year-old A.J. and 21-month-old Christopher.
“I just melted down. I’ve never had that happen before. I couldn’t control my emotions,” said Guy McAllister, father of the boys and husband to Melissa, when he heard of the news.
McAllister says A.J. was in such bad shape at the hospital, that he was close to being put on life support. He’s also astonished that Melissa survived.
“In all other cases, she should have probably been dead,” he said. “She took the full weight of the car over her midsection. There was a tire track on her stomach.”
Now, A.J. is out of the hospital and is exceeding the expectations of some doctors.
“He’s wowing everybody. There are things going on here that science can’t explain,” said McAllister.
A.J. still wears an eye patch at times to help build up muscle near his eye. He also has some minor problems with his right arm and leg. The family attends physical therapy to treat that. Regardless, McAllister says his son’s progress is remarkable.
“I’ve seen a couple of doctors come to tears who saw him then and see him now,” he said.
“It’s miracles. Little miracles happening every day,” added McAllister's mother, Katy.
At the same time, Melissa’s recovery has been drawn out, the family says. McAllister says her pelvis hasn’t healed as quickly as doctors expected and she’s still not able to walk or put weight on the area.
For that reason, she’s still being treated at a local rehab facility. McAllister says it’s not clear how much longer she’ll have to stay there.
As for the driver, the teen who caused the crash, McAllister says he has no ill feelings towards him.
“He never meant to do that,” McAllister said, adding that he hopes to meet with the teen at some point.
At the time of the crash investigators said that the teen wasn’t impaired and wasn’t immediately charged related to the crash. Messages sent on Tuesday to the Clark County Sheriff’s Office seeking an update on the case weren’t immediately returned.