ANTIGO, Wis. (WSAW) - The family of a 4-year-old Antigo boy that shot himself in the head after finding a loaded firearm in the basement is thanking the community for support.
Micah Zahringer was critically injured Nov. 10 at his Antigo home. Police said there were no witnesses as he was alone when the shooting happened. The gun had been in a shooter’s bag inside a cupboard in the basement and his parents believed it was not loaded, according to police.
Micah has been in the pediatric intensive care unit since the incident and his parents haven't left his side.
"You know I can't be with him all the time and I'd like to, but he squeezed my fingers and that's the first time that happened," Micah Zahringer's grandmother Pam Augustyn said.
Now the family is learning to grapple with a new reality, and hoping for a miracle.
"My daughter, she's 3-year-old and she asks every day, can I go back and see Micah today? And she talks about his big owie, and yet she says 'he's going to be okay.' " said Heather Augustyn, Micah's Aunt.
Micah suffered extensive damage to the right side of his brain and is preparing for another surgery next week. As they wait and pray, the family says they are getting through their "new normal" thanks to an outpouring of support from the community.
"The Micah that we had before is not the Micah that's there. So, there's a new normal for the time being, and we're praying for a miracle," Pam Augustyn said.
"We haven't had a night where I've had to make a meal yet. And it's really amazing and we're all feeling very blessed and so thankful," Heather Augustyn said. She has been caring for Micah's four brothers since the incident.
The optimism of the younger members of the family is also helping the family through difficult times.
"It's reassuring to hear a little girl say "it's going to be okay," Heather Augustyn said.
Click here to make a donation online to help coverage medical expenses. Donations can also be brought to any Covantage Credit Union location.