CHICAGO — Kayden Swann, the toddler shot in his head in a Lake Shore Drive road rage incident earlier this month, is out of intensive care and making good progress, hospital officials said Monday.
“After over two weeks of intensive care treatment, Kayden Swann, now 22 months old, has been extubated and is breathing on his own with support,” Dr. Marcelo Malakooti of Lurie’s Children’s Hospital said in a statement.
Kayden was transferred out of the pediatric intensive care unit and is moving spontaneously and continues to be very responsive to treatment, Malakooti said.
“We are thrilled to report this very good outcome after such a serious head injury. He continues on a very positive trajectory, and I expect him to have a great road ahead,” Malakooti said. “I am grateful to the expert surgeons, doctors, nurses and therapists that provided round the clock trauma care to Kayden. Additionally, thankful to our team of social workers and family services staff for providing support to Kayden’s family during this difficult time.
“This is extremely good news for Kayden and his family, and for all of us as we wrestle with continued incidents of gun violence.”
Kayden was shot April 6 in a road rage incident that began near 35th and Lake Shore Drive and ended up with a shooting near Grant Park.
Kayden was in a car being driven by his grandmother’s then-boyfriend, Jushawn Brown, who was arrested and charged with felony gun charges later that day.
Cook County prosecutor Andrea Williams said Brown was driving Swann’s grandmother in the front seat and the boy in his carseat when the driver of an SUV merging into his lane almost hit his car. Williams described Brown in court as Kayden’s grandfather but later clarified he is not biologically related to the toddler.
Brown pulled over and yelled at the driver of the SUV, Williams said. She said Brown and the unknown man exchanged words and then the other man produced a gun and asked Brown “what he wanted to do about it while dangling the firearm at the defendant.”
Brown picked up and placed his 9-millimeter gun on his lap and continued driving north on Lake Shore Drive in an attempt to get away from the SUV driver. The SUV driver continued to follow Brown’s family and began shooting at their vehicle, a white Lincoln sedan, Williams said.
One of the bullets shattered the rear window and hit Kayden in his head, Williams said.
Police and Mayor Lori Lightfoot said it appeared Brown and the other man had been shooting at each other over several blocks. Police said at the time they found multiple shell casings between the 900 and 1100 blocks of South Lake Shore Drive near Grant Park.
But Williams said in court police concluded all the shell casings came from the same weapon, which was not Brown’s. An updated statement from the police department then omitted any mention of Brown firing shots.
After the shooting, Brown crashed into another car near Jackson and Lake Shore Drive before a good Samaritan drove them to Northwestern Hospital. Kayden was transferred to Lurie with a severe brain injury, requiring “full critical care support.” Doctors placed him in a medically induced coma and on a ventilator.
While Kayden makes progress at the hospital, police are still searching for the driver of the SUV. Additionally, Kayden’s mother started a GoFundMe campaign to help with medical expenses.
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