That's the Spirit

04.20.14

Easter Miracle in Brooklyn for Shooting Victim

Despite being shot in the head twice, a young boy credits his faith in God for keeping him alive and able to sing his praises.

A double Easter miracle will occur today as a 13-year-old Brooklyn boy who survived being shot two times in the head watches a live-streamed concert by the crouch choir in which he would otherwise have been singing.

“They are giving me a lap top,” said miracle kid Gama Droiville from his bed in the pediatric unit at Kings County Hospital on Saturday.

And anybody who wants to join young Gama in watching an Easter service along with a concert by the French Speaking Baptist Church choir—performed with him in mind—need only go to www.fsnconline.com at 11 a.m.

Gama himself will only be able to watch with this left eye, as one of the bullets damaged his right and the doctors are still trying to save it. He will be listening with the ear of a singer who loves to practice every Saturday with the choir and then go home to practice some more. He has no particular favorite number.

“If it wasn’t for God, I wouldn’t be here.”

“I like all the songs, “ he said.

What he loves is the singing itself, beginning with the selection by the choir director and on through the rehearsals, culminating in all of them performing with one transporting and transcending voice.

“To sing for the lord,” he said.

He had a plastic shield taped over his right eye and a Bible at his side as he quietly described the feeling he gets when he sings.  

“Like I’m a blessed person,” he said. “Like nothing can stop me."

Gama does not just sing the words of these songs of faith; he lives by their message. He demonstrated that fully on this afternoon between Good Friday and Easter, when he was asked about the 21-year-old who had been charged with the shooting. Gama uttered three words.

“I forgive him.”

Judgment, Gama then added, belongs to the same God he is so certain was with him just before noon on April 14 in Brooklyn, as he waited for a bus with his aunt and an 8-year-old cousin. Gunfire suddenly erupted and his aunt hustled him and his cousin into the safety of a pizzeria.  

Gama then saw blood and he realized it was his own. He had been struck above the right eye and in the back of his head.

“I’m okay, I’m okay,” Gama assured his aunt.

As unlucky as Gama was to have been hit, he was incredibly lucky that neither bullet had pierced his skull into his brain. The intended target, a 24-year-old who had been shot in a previous incident some months ago, was wounded in the leg. 

After five hours of surgery, doctors had removed the bullets from Gama’s head, but remained unsure whether they would be able to repair his right eye. Gama had no doubt on Saturday why he had survived at all.

“If it wasn’t for God, I wouldn’t be here,” Gama said.

His family has said that his mother had sent him from Haiti to live with his uncle and aunt in Brooklyn to get him away from the violence there. But his encounter with it in America has not shaken his faith in his adopted land any more than it had his continued faith in the Almighty.

His ultimate career goal is unchanged as he nears the end of the eighth grade and prepares to begin high school.

“Immigration attorney,” he said.

He would then be able to help others come to what he still considers a land of promise.

“For a better life,” one of the relatives at his bedside said with no irony at all.

On Saturday, when Gama would have been practicing with the choir, he was instead speaking with two uniformed police officers who stopped by to see how he was doing.

“We hear you like pizza,” one of the cops said.

Gama’s uncle, Jimmy Marcel, told the officers that their commander had been by twice, once bringing pizza.

“I was so full,” Gama said.

After the officers left and the talk in the room turned to singing, Gama admitted that he will miss being with the choir on Easter.

But he will at least be able to watch it on a laptop, a live stream reaching this boy who feels so blessed just to be alive.

“A miracle,’ he said.