A grown-up Erica Hughes talks with WDRB 10 years after she was shot in the head at 2-years-old
Erica Hughes is acting as a youth advocate to stop gun violence after she was shot and her mother killed 10 years ago.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- She was shot in the head multiple times at just 2 years old, and her mom was found murdered in the same home on May 18, 2006.
A now grown-up Erica Hughes is turning her tragedy into triumph after being on the verge of death ten years ago.
She’s still considered a miracle.
“It's hard to believe that it was me,” Erica Hughes told WDRB News.
Early on in life, Hughes' life changed forever. She was shot several times in the head and her mom, Earon Harper was killed. But what Louisville Metro Police did for her that day a decade ago is remembered by many.
“He said, 'I need you to get in that car and get down to the hospital as fast as you can,'” retired LMPD officer Dr. Steven Kelsey said.
Listening to his sergeant, Kelsey didn't think twice. There was no time to wait for an ambulance.
“We have to get her there. They said, ‘stay with us, stay with us.’ And I said, 'man we can't let this girl die,'” Kelsey said.
“I'm happy because if they wouldn't have done that, then I would be dead right now,” Erica said.
Erica, now 12, says reliving that day gets easier, but there's one thing that still causes her heart to grieve: “Just hearing when they say my momma's name,” she said.
But she's turning that pain into power.
“Because I get to help other people who got shot and other people who are sick,” she said.
Sheronda Morris, who was hit by a stray bullet in 2013. is just one person Hughes has visited in the hospital.
“Her being at the hospital just gave me so much joy and just to know that little sissy here can do it, I knew I could. She inspired me so much,” Morris said.
“I tell them that if I can survive gunshots, then they can,” Hughes said.
And now she's taking her story to the streets so no other child has to go through what she has.
It's a story that wouldn't be heard if it wasn't for quick police action.
"If he did not make that call, Erica would not be here today,” Kelsey said.
Next month, Erica, along with the “We All We Got” Hood 2 Hood movement, is hosting a Put Down the Guns event at the Manslick Rollerdrome at 721 Gagel Avenue. It will be held on Friday, June 3 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
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