Boy on life support with BB lodged in brain: ‘We’re just going to continue praying’

Offbeat and Unique

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — A 12-year-old Michigan boy is fighting for his life after another child shot him in the head with a BB.

The family of Deven Free says he was struck while playing outside with other boys late Monday afternoon. Lisa Shirley, a relative, says her great nephew is on life support at Bronson Children’s Hospital and was in critical condition as of Tuesday afternoon.  

“He may or may not ever walk, talk or come off the ventilator,” Shirley said. 

She said Deven’s mother rushed to help after he was hit with the BB. 

“Deven was on the ground still able to talk at that time and she couldn’t get him off the ground so she had one of the young boys go up and get her brother, who lives by her,” Shirley said. 

He was unresponsive and intubated at the Ascension Borgess emergency room, where doctors then conducted a CT scan.

A scan shows where a BB passed through 12-year-old Deven Free’s brain. (Courtesy)

Shirley says the BB struck Deven above his right eye and is lodged in the back of his brain. He was transported to Bronson Children’s Hospital to provide specialized care.  

“At this point, they cannot do any kind of surgery because of where the BB is placed and that the next 72 hours is very critical,” Shirley said. 

The family started a GoFundMe account to help cover Deven’s medical care and have been grateful for the outpouring of support. 

“Our phones are going off constantly from people, from all over. We have family in Kentucky; we have people messaging us from Kentucky that they’re praying for us,” Shirley said. 

The community is holding out hope and trying to stay optimistic following the latest update from Deven’s mother. 

“She said his blood pressure is holding steady and so is his heart rate, so we’re just going to continue praying,” Shirley said. 

The Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office says the BB gun shooting appears to be accidental. 

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