CLEVELAND – A ten-year-old boy recovering from a gunshot wound, in an ambush that killed his dad, received a special honor.
“I’m getting better every day,” said Donta Padgett, Jr.
The 10-year-old is a determined young man on the mend. At Monday night’s Cleveland city council meeting, Councilman Zack Reed announced that FirstEnergy and the Cleveland Browns are making it possible for Donta to attend his first Browns game next Sunday.
“He’s gonna be on the football field, he’s gonna meet the players before the game and we’re gonna embrace Donta because of the tragic loss of his dad, because of the tragic epidemic of violence in this city,” said Councilman Zack Reed.
On September 19th, Donta’s father, had just picked him up from a little league game. Police say when their car stopped at a red light at Martin Luther King, Jr and Shaker Boulevards, someone riddled the car with bullets, killing Donta, Sr…and striking the ten-year-old in the shoulder, causing nerve damage.
“We’re trusting in God, we’re putting it in His hands, and every day it’s progressing, every day, he’s moving a finger, each finger, and he’s progressing, he’s moving his whole hand now,” said the boy’s mother, Lakia Johnson.
Donta says he is excited about getting a chance to see the Browns play.
“Because I like football a lot and because I like the Browns.” As to who his favoite players are: “Johnny Manziel and Joe Haden,” said Donta.
Lakia Johnson says he is getting counseling to improve physically and emotionally.
“Every day, he’s ‘mom look, mom look’…he gets sad every now and then, which is normal, but yea, he’s ok for the most part…and I’m just grateful that he’s here with me today,” said his mother.
Johnson says Donta had played various positions on his little league team, and he can’t wait until he’s able to get back on the field.
“I know I’m gonna be playing football in the NFL,” he boasted.