NEW ORLEANS, LA (WGNO-CNN) — A New Orleans boy who was shot twice in a year is celebrating his 11th birthday.
"I'm happy because my child lived to see another year of his birthday," mother Tynia Allen said.
Ka'nard Allen has plenty of reasons to smile. At the top of his list is 11 years of life.
"Like my child is blessed, and I'm blessed to see my child see 11 because of all that he's been through," Tynia said.
Celebrating an 11th birthday is not usually considered a milestone, but given the close calls Ka'nard has had, it is.
The Uptown kid narrowly escaped fatal injuries one year ago today, when gunfire broke out at his birthday party. Then, a bullet struck him in the neck.
Just weeks ago, he had another brush with death during a shooting that injured 20-people, at the Mother's Day second line parade. That's when a bullet grazed Ka'nard in the face.
"Anger, runs through the house, stomping, jumping," Tynia said. "Balls his fists up, punches things."
His mother says even though Ka'nard is receiving counseling she's struggling to mask those traumatic memories.
"You have goals you need to reach," Tynia said. "You still have football ahead of you; you still have college ahead of you." "Keep all that negative behind you and move forward."
And that's what Ka'nard is trying to do.
The community has rallied around him; sending him birthday well wishes, including gifts, and cash. Plans are in the works for Ka'nard to celebrate his birthday in style this weekend. The Roosevelt Hotel is donating a night's stay to Ka'nard and his family.
Ka'nard says he's looking forward to a limousine ride and swimming in the hotel's pool.