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CLUNE, Pa. (AP) — The family of a 6-day-old Pennsylvania boy who was wounded by a hunter's stray bullet said the infant is expected to survive, but will be blind.
Stefanie Iverson, 30, said her son Shayne's life was spared when the bullet exited through the eye socket of his skull rather than hitting his brain.
"He's lost his vision, but that's probably what saved his life," Iverson told the Indiana Gazette.
The boy's father, Jeremie Iverson, 42, was holding the baby on Sept. 25 when the bullet came through a window of the family's Young Township home near Saltsburg, about 35 miles east of Pittsburgh, and struck the baby's skull.
Indiana County District Attorney Pat Dougherty said the hunter had an agricultural deer control permit. The shooting was likely accidental, but questions remain about whether the hunter followed state regulations and Dougherty said he could make a decision about whether to file criminal charges by the end of the week.
For now, the Iversons and their relatives are monitoring the infant's condition and trying to raise money for medical bills. Donations were being taken though a local S&T Bank branch.
"I started the fundraiser only since I can't make my way out there," said Kalyn Iverson, 23, Jeremie's sister, who lives in Jackson, New Jersey. "And this is my way of showing my support and help."
The baby's long-term prognosis is unclear because he's a still-developing newborn, and because his brain remains swollen from the injury. Once that subsides, doctors will know more, his mother said.
The infant remained in intensive care at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC on Wednesday.