Fifteen-year-old Brandon Reid was shot in the head Thursday night, and doctors said he’s lucky.
“Just a few inches different, and it would have been a completely different outcome,” said surgeon Dean Hertzler, who dug the 9 mm bullet out of the teen’s head. “I’ve never seen someone shot in the head do this well, this easily.”
Brandon walked out of Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood at about 4:45 Saturday afternoon. Doctors expect he’ll make a full recovery. His surgeon is with Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital.
Police think the bullet that hit Brandon, punching through the sliding-glass door of his Miramar home and whacking him under the ear as he rose from the couch after the NBA Finals, was probably fired by someone celebrating the Miami Heat’s victory.
The bullet grazed his skull, but didn’t enter his brain.
Brandon felt the impact, but at first didn’t know what it was. “It felt like a giant rock knocking me on the side of the head,” he said.
But then he put his hand to his head and saw the blood.
He yelled for his mom, phoned his father, Marvin Reid, in Georgia, and then called 911, dialing himself because his mother was in such a panic she couldn’t do it.
Brandon only knew for certain he’d been shot, he said, when he looked in the bathroom mirror and saw the hole in his head.
The experience was so surreal that he kept waiting to wake up.
“I thought it was a dream,” he said after he walked out of his hospital room Saturday afternoon.
His brother Daryl Denson Jr., 11, didn’t believe it at first either.
They’d been rooting for opposing teams — Brandon for the Heat, Daryl for the defeated San Antonio Spurs —and Daryl wasn’t in the room when Brandon was hit because he’d retreated to sulk.
Then he heard his brother yell.
“At first I thought he was playing a prank on me, because the Heat won,” Daryl said.
When Brandon’s father got his phone call Thursday night, he rushed down to Florida to be with his son. In Brandon’s hospital room Saturday, he said just talking about surgeons pulling a bullet from his son’s head was hard.
“Just saying it pretty much makes your heart heavy,” he said.
Brandon and his father said they hoped people would learn to be responsible when they party.
“I appreciate the pots and pans being banged on,” said Reid, “but where do guns come in?”
Brandon said he felt blessed to be alive.
“I was just standing in the wrong place, at the wrong time,” he said. “Celebration is fun, but you don’t need gunfire to do it.”