'MOST OF ALL, WE NEED PRAYER'

Accidental shooting paralyzes teen; fundraiser created to tackle medical expenses
Sunday, January 20, 2019

A Jennings family is facing hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills and home renovations after a 14-year-old sustained a gunshot wound that left him partially paralyzed.

Hunner LeBlanc was injured last week in an accidental shooting at a home on J.B. Farm Road in Jennings. While the boy is facing an uphill battle, his grandfather Alan Babineaux of Castex said his survival and prognosis are nothing short of a miracle.

“The bullet went through his neck and through his spine,” Babineaux said. “It went through a major artery and my son-in-law put compression on it immediately. He didn’t stop until the medics got there.”

Hunner was airlifted to Lafayette General Hospital where emergency surgery was performed to replace the damaged artery with an artificial valve. He lost four pints of blood because of his injury.

“The doctors have told us they don’t know how he survived and that it’s a miracle he never lost consciousness,” Babineaux said. “We were told he was going to be put on a respirator and that they were going to induce a coma to help him heal. But his vital signs were so strong, they didn’t have to put him in a coma.”

Hunner was initially put into a neck brace to provide some stability for his neck. As of press time Friday, a halo was being utilized to support his neck and spine. A tracheostomy had been performed in order to remove the ventilator. The teenager remained in intensive care and will soon have surgery performed to repair his spine.

“He’ll probably be in ICU for about a week and a half, at least,” his grandfather said. “We don’t how long he’ll be in the hospital altogether.”

As of Friday, Hunner had feeling in his arms and down to his lower stomach. He was able to shrug his shoulders and move his right arm. However, he is paralyzed from his waist down.

''The doctors have already been wrong three times. Hunner should be dead but he’s not. We’ll keep praying because God works miracles.”
– Alan Babineaux

“Even though he can move his arm, the neurologist said he might not be able to feed himself,” Babineaux said. “I hope and pray to God that he can recover. The doctors have already been wrong three times. Hunner should be dead but he’s not. We’ll keep praying because God works miracles.”

Hunner has a good attitude at the moment, Babineaux said, and loved ones are grateful he survived. They are worried, however, about how they will afford to pay for his medical care, as well as other needs.

“We have to modify the whole house for it to be handicap accessible,” Babineaux said. “He’ll need to be able to get around in a wheelchair. We know the medical bills are going to be at least over $100,000, probably more, and we don’t know how much it’s going to cost to change things in the house. But most of all, we need prayer.”

A family friend formed a Go Fund Me page to help offset costs faced by the family. It has a base goal of $100,000. As of Friday morning, $3,558 had been collected.

Those wishing to donate to the fund can find it listed as “Help Hunner’s Family” on the Go Fund Me site. The web address to go directly to the fundraiser’s page is www.gofundme.com/help-hunners-family.

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