LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — A six-year-old boy who was blinded by gunfire is helping his peers learn about the importance of eyesight.
Malakai Roberts was watching a movie with his mother and brother while inside his Lexington home in December 2020 when a gunshot went through his temple and behind his eyes. He survived the shooting, but was left blinded.
Since recovering, Roberts has been attending school in Lexington and the Kentucky School for the Blind in Louisville. He joined Christopher 2X Game Changers’ Future Healers program last fall, a program focused on helping children impacted by violence build a better future.
“Malakai has been totally robbed of his sight,” community activist Christopher 2X said. “But what he has shown us is a stick-to-it attitude about not letting blindness stop him from being involved in activities, and also, pursuing his educational career.”
On Saturday, Roberts and other Future Healers learned about the importance of eyesight during an instructional program at the Galt House. It’s a new initiative named “Healers for Healthy Eyes.”
Optometrists shared with the Future Healers how to keep their eyes healthy and the importance of regular check ups. Optometrists held exercises with members of the Future Healers program, and later answered questions from the children and parents.
Cacy Roberts, Malakai’s mother, said her son has risen to the occasion after the life-changing moment. He’s learning Braille, but still enjoying things he did before the shooting, like riding his bicycle or playing with friends.
“He is really amazing,” Cacy Roberts said. “There are a lot of things that have changed, and a lot of things have stayed the same.”
She hopes Healers for Healthy Eyes can spread awareness and share the importance of eye health.
Malakai is also in Future Healers Got Zoo Buddies, a partnership between Christopher 2X Game Changers and the Louisville Zoo. The initiative was created to explore the healing and therapeutic power of animals for children experiencing secondary trauma from gun violence.
“I like animals, I like how they feel,” Malakai said.
Malakai has been an inspiration for other Future Healers, who have welcomed him into the program.
“It’s not fair that he doesn’t have his sight,” Antonio Dudley, a fellow Future Healers said. “We all encourage him to keep going, we can all help him do things.”
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