TEMECULA (CBSLA.com) — It was a freak accident at a Southland boy’s 10th birthday party that changed everything for his family.
People from all over prayed that the Little Leaguer would “Catch A Miracle.”
CBS2′ Inland Empire Reporter Crystal Cruz reported Friday that Elijah Belden is well on his road to recovery, months after suffering a near deadly electrical shock.
Elija Belden was into baseball, his Little League buddies and his milestone birthday party.
“He was just really excited to have his 10th birthday party,” said his mom, Ali Belden. “He hadn’t had a real birthday party since he was little.”
Ali’s baby was now into the double digits.
She had a pool party for Elijah in October, in the backyard of their Temecula home and invited his teammates. Brothers Adam and Noah, were both there.
“It was really fun for me,” Noah said. “We were just splashing in the pool and having fun.”
Adam and Noah’s dad, Scott Baker, who’s Elijah’s Little League coach, was also there.
“Typical birthday party of 10 year old kids, there was a whole bunch of kids jumping out of the pool, a hamburger a hot dog and just a good time,” said Baker.
The good time didn’t last long.
“Ali had a blood-curdling scream,” Baker said. “She was screaming Elijah was down next to this pole.”
Elijah had touched the pole, which was holding up a shade cover, attached to a strand of lights. He dropped to the concrete after suffering a severe electric shock.
“It was definitely a hard moment as a mom,” Ali said. “It was like not real.”
She thought her son was dead. So did Baker, the Little League coach who’s also been a sheriff’s deputy for decades.
“In probably 28 years this is the worst I’ve ever seen,” Baker said. “Pretty horrific, pretty very emotional.
Ali tried pulling Elijah away from the pole.
“I tried to grab him and pull him off of it, and I got shocked again. I couldn’t grab on to him. It just like pushed me off of him,” she said.
Baker tried next.
“He touched him once and got shocked, but he realized what was happening and just got low and tackled him off the pole.” Ali said.
Elijah was raced to the hospital in critical condition, and his parents didn’t know if he would survive.
“I just took it hour by hour,” Ali said. “Is he going to wake up? When he does wake up, is he going to be the kid we knew, you know?
Ali also asked herself in that hospital room, next to Elijah, hooked up to all sorts of machines, how did they end up here of all places on her son’s big day.
The only answer she came up: This was a freak accident and her son needed to catch a miracle.
Elijah was put in a medically induced coma for several days.
“Just so his body slowed down and all he had to do was work on healing,” Ali said. “He didn’t have to think, he didn’t have to eat, all he had to do was rest and heal.”
On Day 8, everything changed. Doctors woke Elijah up.
“He recognized us, he knew who we were. He was talking a little bit,” his mom said. “I could tell it was him and he was back with us.”
The baseball fanatic couldn’t wait to get back on the field.
This was the first time we’ve heard from him since his story went global last year.
“It was just really fun to be outta the hospital bed and moving around,” Elijah said.
He cannot remember being shocked.
His parents say he’s the same boy he was before the accident, still a big fan of his pink shoelaces for breast cancer awareness and, of course, crazy about sports.
He’s already taking about his next birthday.
“It will probably be baseball themed,” he said.
Ali credits her recent emergency training, Baker’s quick thinking and the hospital staff’s work for saving her son’s life.
“His recovery is such a miracle, just to see him running and playing its like he didn’t even miss a beat,” his mom said.
After the accident the community rallied around Elijah. They established a “Pray For Elijah” Facebook page, which now has thousands of “likes,” and is still up, chronicling his recovery.