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21-Month-Old Boy Remains In Critical Condition, But Has Not Worsened, After Shooting On Lake Shore Drive

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A toddler is fighting for his life after being shot in a road rage incident on Lake Shore Drive downtown.

On Wednesday afternoon, Lurie Children's Hospital said the boy identified as Kayden Swann, 21 months, was still getting full critical care treatment at the hospital's ICU. He suffered a severe brain injury and requires a team of specialists to treat him, the hospital said.

As CBS 2's Chris Tye reported, doctors said it remained hour-by-hour Wednesday afternoon.

"He is certainly in the camp of 'promising,'" said said Dr. Marcelo Malakooti, medical director of the pediatric intensive care unit at Lurie.

While the boy remains in critical condition, his condition has not worsened, the hospital said. He has been placed in a medically-induced coma to protect his brain and is on a ventilator.

"Over the past 24 hours, although he's remained critically ill, he's been unchanged – so he has not worsened, but he's still critically ill," Malakooti said.

Doctors have not had to open Kayden's skull, which they said is good news.

But he remains on the ventilator for that temple wound that keeps him in what they call "very critical condition."

"He has stayed relatively steady for us, although incredibly ill very for us," Malakooti said. "We have to monitor every hour."

Malakooti said the fact that the boy's condition has not worsened is cause for "cautious hope." But he said while it is to soon to determine, the boy may need the support of "medical technology going forward in his life."

But Malakooti also said, "We might expect him to recover to some degree from this, and I would hope so."

Kayden's mother and grandmother have remained his side, the hospital said. A team of family support and social workers have been present supporting the entire family, Malakooti said.

Kayden Swann
Kayden Swann, the toddler who was shot on Lake Shore Drive on Tuesday, April 6, 2021. (Credit: Legal Help Firm)

Police confirmed Wednesday they are questioning a man who was in the car with the boy at the time of the shooting.

"It's astounding to me that people have so little regard for human life in general," said Mayor Lori Lightfoot. "It's particularly astounding to me when people have so little regard for human life when there are children as passengers in cars as we saw yesterday."

The 21-month-old boy was a passenger in a car shot at over the course of two blocks on northbound Lake Shore Drive near Roosevelt Road along Grant Park.

The car was shot at over the course of two blocks on northbound Lake Shore Drive near Roosevelt Road. Police said shots flew along the Drive for two blocks between 9th and 11th streets.

Kayden was shot in the face. Police radio communications indicated he was shot once in the temple and once in the jaw. The white sedan carrying the child ended up crashing on Lake Shore Drive near Monroe Drive.

A family member jumped out of the car and screamed for help, trying to flag down drivers on Lake Shore Drive. Only one car stopped – and its driver said he didn't think about it. He knew he had to do something.

The Good Samaritan drove the gravely injured toddler and family from the Drive to Northwestern Hospital in Streeterville, and he is credited for giving the little boy a fighting chance.

As for the police investigation, the big three questions are who instigated the shooting, what happened to the other driver, and what role the little boy's family may have played in all of it.

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