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4-Year-Old Girl With Bullet Fragment Still in Head Transferred to Minnesota

By Josh McGhee | June 1, 2015 8:53am | Updated on June 1, 2015 9:50am
 Four-year-old Jacele Johnson is moving to a rehab facility in Minnesota after being wounded in an Englewood shooting on May 22.
Four-year-old Jacele Johnson is moving to a rehab facility in Minnesota after being wounded in an Englewood shooting on May 22.
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Photo courtesy of Trennetta Gresham

CHICAGO — Jacele Johnson, the 4-year-old girl shot in her head in West Englewood on May 22, has been transferred to a Minnesota rehab facility to continue her recovery.

Around 8 a.m. Monday, Jacele was taken by ambulance from Comer Children's Hospital to another facility in Minnesota. She was in fair condition when she left the facility, according to Lorna Wong, spokeswoman for University of Chicago Medicine. 

Her mother, Trennetta Gresham, spoke briefly to the media before leaving the hospital Monday, thanking God, the Chicago Police department and all her daughter's doctors for their help.

“I want to thank God for covering my daughter through this whole process. I also want to thank everyone from Chicago to Minnesota for the prayers that they gave out for Jacele. I want to thank Comer Children’s Hospital for their patience, their love and their tender care.

"I also want to thank Dr. Warnke and his team of angels for saving Jacele’s life. I want to thank the city of Chicago police for your aid and assist. I also want to tell everyone in Chicago to please put the guns down because you’re killing our future and our city,” Gresham said.

Jacele had been in a car at 8 p.m. May 22 when someone shot into it from a passing car in the 7000 block of South Justine Street, police said.

She was taken to Comer, where her condition eventually was upgraded to serious.

On Wednesday, Gresham said her daughter was eating and talking. She told reporters that she immediately started praying while looking at her daughter the night the child was shot.

“I feel like God showed us a miracle with my baby. If you weren’t a believer now you should be,” Gresham said.

Jacele’s surgeon, Dr. Peter Warnke, said surgery took 40 minutes, and that he couldn’t remove the bullet because it would have made her injuries worse.

“This was a very life-threatening injury,” he said. “It could have gone either way.”

The child’s attending physician said Jacele is eating without the help of tubes, can look to both sides and can speak a little. She can’t use her right hand, but is able to walk and use her left hand, the doctor said.

Gresham made a plea to people creating violence.

“Please, all my young black men, please stop … because I could be burying my daughter today instead of sitting here,” she said through tears. “I hope Jacele touched a lot of young men’s hearts. These are our babies. Please stop the violence, not just in Chicago, but everywhere."

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