Girl preps for school with bullet lodged in brain

Oralander Brand-Williams
The Detroit News

To many people, London Muldrow is a walking miracle.

The 4-year-old bounces around and talks like any typical youngster, even though a bullet is lodged  in the left side of her brain.

London Muldrow and her mother Laurice Henderson play at a park they like to visit. London was shot in the head at a west-side Detroit gas station as two men were arguing.

The bullet is a sad reminder of being shot in the head four months ago outside a Detroit gas station as her mother, Laurice Henderson, watched in horror.

The girl and her mother got caught in the crossfire when an argument between two men erupted into gunfire at the gas station on Livernois near Puritan. The child was sitting in the car when a bullet tore through the windshield and hit the child, who was in the back seat. 

A suspect in the shooting, Exel Taylor, pleaded guilty Friday in connection with the incident. 

The hours following the shooting were some of the most painful Henderson said she has ever experienced. The child was transported to the hospital by police. For several agonizing hours, Henderson waited to see if her daughter would live.

The next 28 days in the hospital to save London's life also tested Henderson's resolve and her faith.

"I thought I was about to lose my daughter," she said. "I was angry in my faith. I was questioning why couldn't it be me. But I calmed myself and started praying."

Henderson said her child's paternal grandmother brought her pastor to Children's Hospital and three began a prayer vigil for the girl's survival.

London Muldrow finds interest in the cross Anthony Tuscano, owner of Xpert Car Care Center, wears around his neck. Tuscano was one of the good Samaritans who helped in London's recovery from a gunshot wound to the head.

To the amazement of her doctors, London pulled through, Henderson said. She has endured two surgeries and has a large surgical scar where surgeons had to remove part of her skull temporarily to relieve swelling.

London still faces the threat of more seizures and the possibility that the remaining bullet in her head will move, requiring more surgery, her mother said.

Henderson said her daughter is preparing for kindergarten this fall. London has been getting tutored at home and at a local library to make sure she will be ready for school.

Henderson wants people to think twice about the unintended consequences that can result from bringing firearms into a dispute and putting innocent bystanders at risk.

"It's so sad," said Henderson. "Before this even happened to my daughter, I was seeing this ... every week on the news. And after this happened to my daughter, it continues to happen. Somebody has to speak up. Y'all hitting innocent babies ... innocent kids every single day. Luckily God spared me that burden and saved my daughter. I have seen a lot of crimes after my daughter's (shooting) and these kids haven't made it."

The child’s recovery continues and now her mother is getting help from a local businessman who is raffling off a vehicle to help Henderson with bills and other expenses that have been mounting since London, Henderson’s only child, was shot.

Tony Toscano, the owner of the chain of Xpert Car Care centers in Detroit, said he heard about what happened to London and wanted to help.

London Muldrow and her mother Laurice Henderson play at a park they like to visit. London was shot in the head at a west-side Detroit gas station as two men were arguing.

“This is especially close to my heart,” Toscano said. “We have a 3-year-old girl who was shot in our community. It’s a senseless act of violence. I see it all the time. If I can be an example to other people to give back to the community to give back ... all the money is going to go to the little girl.”

Toscano says he has already pitched in $2,000 and hoped to raise another $3,000 by raffling off a used “fully loaded” minivan through a $1 raffle. 

London planned to pull the winning ticket during the raffle Sunday at Gordon Park on 12th and Clairmount streets on Detroit’s west side.

Henderson beams as she watches her little girl bounce up and down, playfully casting a big smile. 

"She's a miracle," said Henderson. "She's my angel."

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