Sabrina Stevenson is sure 2020 will be her family’s year.
She’s optimistic the new decade will bring a clean slate, more hope and healing — something they desperately need. The family of eight can leave behind 2018, when their house on Wilkens Avenue burned down. And they can try to forget 2019, when her 14-year-old son Kyron Stevenson was struck in a hit-and-run.
“We’re going to look back at this time and laugh one day, and just say this is where we came from,” she said. “2020 has to be our year. It has to be.”
Kyron is still in the hospital, incapacitated from his injuries. Less than a week before Thanksgiving, Kyron was walking from his girlfriend’s house around 7 p.m. and heading to see his uncle — his usual Friday routine — when he was struck by a black Chevy Suburban and left in the road. Baltimore Police say he was crossing the street legally in the 4300 block of Frederick Ave. when the car ran a red light. Police are still searching for the driver.
Stevenson, the boy’s mother, was just a few blocks away driving with her daughter when she got a phone call from her sister: Go to Shock Trauma.
The teen has several fractures in his face, can’t move his left side and has swelling in his brain. The swelling got so bad, his mother said, that doctors had to rush Kyron into surgery to relieve the pressure by removing a piece of his skull. Stevenson, 40, said her son has had six surgeries and will need at least one more.
Kyron spent more than two weeks in critical condition. Earlier this month, the boy finally opened his eyes, blinked and squeezed her hand, Stevenson said. He was transferred to Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital on Dec. 9 to begin receiving various therapies, such as occupational and speech, she said.
“I’ve always told my kids, ‘I hope you have to take care of me before I have to take care of you,’ ” Stevenson said.
Stevenson said she is frustrated that police still don’t have a suspect. Police don’t have a description beyond black Chevy Suburban. The department said this week that there are no updates in the case, but made a renewed effort to ask for the public’s help identifying the driver.
Breaking News Alerts Newsletter
As it happens
Get updates on the coronavirus pandemic and other news as it happens with our free breaking news email alerts.
Kyron’s mother has barely left his side since the accident. She knows when her son wakes up, he’ll be upset that doctors had to shave his head. He had been working on growing his hair long so he could have braids. But what Sabrina really dreads is telling the boy he won’t be able to play football again because of the severity of his head injury — Kyron dreamed of playing in the NFL.
Doctors aren’t sure when — if ever — Kyron will fully recover. They don’t know if he’ll walk again. They don’t even know how much memory he’ll have. His family created a GoFund Me account to help with medical expenses and care for when Kyron might be released.
“He’s going through tough times, but I know he’ll make it through,” Stevenson said. “It’s a waiting process. We just take it one day at a time. Everything is up to him.”
But before the Stevensons get their chance at a fresh start, the family has to make it through Christmas.
Instead of ripping open presents around the twinkling white artificial tree in their Central Park Heights home, the Stevensons will gather around Kyron’s bed. And Sabrina Stevenson will pray and hope her only Christmas wish comes true: hearing her baby say “Ma” again.