Broward County

Boy shot in head on long road to recovery

Three months to the day after his life was nearly taken in a drive-by shooting in Miami Gardens, a 12-year-old boy who was shot in the head is making progress.

And for the first time, CBS4 is getting an exclusive look inside the Broward rehab center where Dharminiyah Moore is getting treatment.

"Oh my God, his eyes are open," said his mother Stephanie. She told CBS4's Peter D'Oench, "He knows who I am. He knows his doctors and his nurses. He knows his family. He moves his legs and his arms. This place is awesome."

Moore is undergoing intensive therapy at the Kidz Korner at Plantation Nursing and Rehabilitation Center after spending the first six weeks at Jackson Memorial Hospital.

Moore was shot in the head during a drive-by shooting just after 11 p.m. on July 22nd. His mother said she was sitting in a car with her son in a Miami Gardens driveway when she heard several shots.

A stray bullet pierced his head above his left eye, robbing him of his speech, movement and vision.

It was part of a series of senseless summer shootings of youngsters that prompted community outrage and prompted one community activist, the Reverend Jerome Starling, to say at the time, "We need this coward to be caught immediately."

Moore still can not speak and his vision is blurred. He lies on a bed attached to separate tubes for oxygen and cool aerosol for his throat.

But as his mother showed us, he is showing more and more movement and his respiratory therapist is optimistic.

"Dharminiyah is doing well," said respiratory therapist Toni Bennett. "When he came here, his eyes weren't opening. Now he is much more alert. With care and love, he will come around. We think he will. We think he may just walk again."

His mother held his hand and said, "He's gripping my hand. See that Peter. Look at that."

"Look at this boy," she said. "This Kidz Korner is the best choice in my life. The people here are awesome."

Experts have told Stephanie Moore that talking to her son could help in his recovery.

And so much of her time is spent speaking to him.

"You're smiling today," she said to her son. "Look at Peter there. I see you. Peek a boo. Look at his legs. He's moving his legs."

"It's a miracle before my eyes," said his mother. "I always thought it was possible. I serve an awesome God. I did not doubt for one moment that there would be improvement."

"I feel he's getting better and better," said Dharminiyah's older brother Demetrius Smith. "He's doing good."

It's not known how long Dharminiyah will remain at the Kidz Korner. Stephanie Moore, who lives in Miami-Dade, told D'Oench she was hoping to raise the money needed in order to move in to an apartment complex near the Kidz Korner.

"I too hope he will walk and talk again," she said. "And that is why I am optimistic and I trust in the Lord."

There have been no arrests in this case even though Miami Gardens Police had said that that one of their top homicide detectives was on the case and that they did have some leads.

Stephanie Moore and community activists had pleaded for the shooter to turn himself in. "I just need some closure in this," said Moore.

In September, she made an urgent plea, saying, "I wish that they could see my child, the state that they left my child in. Hopefully they will turn themselves in, that they will have a heart. I know you have a mother, you have brothers, you have sisters. Come on, come forward and let your mind be free, because I know you're not resting."

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