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Toddler Who Accidentally Shot Himself In Head Leaves Hospital

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MIAMI (CBS4) -- A 3-year-old Miami boy who nearly lost his life in August has left Jackson Memorial Hospital after more than three months in intensive care and rehabilitation therapy.

Darnal Mundy cradled a CBS4 microphone and said "Hi" before "high-fiving" reporters outside of the hospital Thursday.

Doctors said Mundy showed remarkable progress after accidentally shooting himself in the head with his father's gun. At first, they did not know if he would ever recover. He was in a coma for three weeks and could not eat or talk on his own.

Mundy spent a month in the intensive care unit at Holtz Children's Hospital and more than two months at Jackson Rehabilitation Hospital.

Darnal's mother, Dorphise Jean, told CBS4's Peter D'Oench, "I am grateful that God gave him a second chance."

Miami Police told CBS4 that Darnal's parents were asleep when he climbed onto a chair and reached into a dresser looking for an iPad. Instead, he found his father's gun and pulled the trigger.

As Jean pushed her son in a wheelchair to a waiting car, it was clear that a weight had been lifted from her shoulders.

"I feel excited. He has been here a long time. I appreciate everything that has been done by Jackson Memorial Hospital and its staff from their work in intensive care to rehabilitation," Jean said. "I honestly didn't think he would be home before his fourth birthday on Saturday. I thought he would still be here."

Now Darnal will begin the arduous journey toward a full recovery.

"The next step is walking for him," his mother said. "He will need to start walking and a company has donated a device for him to get walking in 90 days. This is going to stimulate his brain and his nerves and get him walking."

But mom said her son's inner strength has made it easier to deal with everything.

"This hurts me emotionally because each time when I see him he is always suffering but he's smiling," she said. "That's what really motivates me. And it is always surprising to see how he gives doctors a hard time and says don't touch my head. He always comes out on top and he is always smiling."

Dr. Seema Khurana, the Director of Pediatric Rehabilitation at Jackson Memorial Hospital, said, "He's made more progress than any of us would have expected and he's going to make progress. He has made it this far and he is going to do amazing things."

"Compared to the beginning and his injuries and how he was not able to eat or talk by himself, he has shown a lot of progress," said Jean.

As his recovery continues, the family is now shifting their focus to prevention. Jean, who is a security guard, said she is taking steps to make sure this never happens again.

"We're going to disassemble the gun and put it in a safe," she said. "It will be disassembled. That is one of the most important things. As long as it is disassembled, he can't do anything with it. He can't put it together. That is my primary focus."

"Honestly, in the future, I hope to go around to schools and talk about gun safety," Jean reflected. "I want to take a gun safety course to make my home more efficient for guns. I collect them."

And although the hardest part may be over, Jean says the painful reminders about her son's close call will not fade.

"This is something I will never forget," she said. "This will always be in the back of my mind."

Darnal Mundy will turn four on Saturday. His mother said there will be a birthday party for him that day at Miami Seaquarium.

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