Asked whether his 9-year-old son surviving a “freak” electrical shock at his birthday party was a miracle, Tony Belden didn’t waver.
“Absolutely,” the Temecula father told a group of reporters on Friday afternoon.
“There were people all over the world messaging us that they’re praying for us,” he said. “Every time I looked at the numbers grow on his Facebook page, I thought, ‘That’s one more person praying for my kid.”
Belden spoke to reporters at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego about his son’s recovery after being electrically shocked at his own birthday party in what’s been described as a “freak accident.”
Belden's family celebrated his birthday a few weeks early with family friends and his baseball team when the fourth grader was shocked near the swimming pool at their Temecula home.
Belden was snapping a picture with a friend when the accident happened. He apparently touched a metal patio cover support that had stringing lights and had somehow become electrified.
Elijah Belden, who turned 10 on Monday, was in a medically induced coma for days before waking on Tuesday.
Now, his father said his recovery is swift and impressive. When he first woke, Elijah was asked if he knew his name.
“With a hoarse voice, he was able to say his name,” his father said.
From there, the boy has started rehabilitation programs and on Friday, he was able to walk outside for the first time. His speech was evaluated and seems great, his father said. Doctors are focusing on strengthening his lungs.
On Saturday, family members are hoping Elijah can get on a treadmill to trying running again and next week, the family hopes to head home.
“We’re looking forward to getting him moving again," Belden said. "Getting him on the baseball field. Back to the normal kid he is.”