Beating victim returns home 6 mos. later
Fifteen-year-old Dreyvon McCray spent time in a coma because of his injuries. At first, doctors were not sure Dreyvon would survive. He was apparently attacked for his cell phone. Dreyvon couldn't walk, talk or hold himself up. He had to relearn speech, movement and retrain his memory. The one thing he didn't lose, his family said, is his gentle, kind nature. On Thursday, his family celebrated his recovery and shared their story so that others don't have to go through what they've gone through. "She helps me get dressed for the last two weeks. And she's the occupational therapist," said Dreyvon. Dreyvon said he doesn't remember all of the details that led him to Advocate Hope Children's Hospital in Oak Lawn, but his family does. "It was very, very difficult seeing him go through the first two months because he suffers so, and there was nothing we could do but watch and pray," said grandmother Jean Frempong. "It was a mother's worst nightmare. Now I've experienced a dream come true," said mother Tina McCray. On June 29, Dreyvon took a bus to a barber shop in the Roseland neighborhood, but before he got there, his cell phone was taken and he was beaten into a coma. Dreyvon endured several surgeries and countless hours of painful, difficult therapy. Dreyvon's neurosurgeon said it was the worst kind of injury, with damage to several parts of the brain. He called the recovery nothing short of a miracle. "He could have remained in coma and a vegetative state. This is a real blessing that we enjoy, especially this Christmastime," said Dr. Yoon Hahn. The McCrays say they have gotten their Christmas wish this year. Dreyvon survived and went home Thursday. If you asked what he wants for Christmas, he sounds like a typical teenager. "IPod, A Wii or PS3 and clothes and shoes," he said. The McCrays say they hope Dreyvon's story will urge other families to love each other more and watch their children more carefully. "The people that did this to my son have no idea what we've been through. I mean, the violence just really needs to stop. It really, really does because my son wouldn't hurt anyone," said Tina McCray. Two young men have been charged for the beating - a 15-year-old and a 17-year-old. That 17-year-old, Keith Spivey, was charged as an adult with attempted first-degree murder. Dreyvon will continue his daily therapy as outpatient. And he said he hopes to get out of his wheelchair soon. He said he is keeping up with his studies and is thinking about his SATs because he wants to be a pediatrician. And he's looking forward to driving. He will turn 16 this summer.