A Temecula boy who was critically injured by an electric shock at his 10th birthday party has woken up after a week in a coma, his family has announced.
Elijah Belden had been in a medically induced coma at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego since Oct. 4, the same day that he came into contact with a metal pole that had somehow become electrified in his family home’s backyard.
After several days of increasingly good news from doctors — a normal MRI, clear CT scans and complications with his lungs clearing — Elijah woke up Sunday, a day before his birthdate.
“Tomorrow we will not only be celebrating Elijah’s 10th birthday but we will be truly celebrating his life,” stated a post on the Facebook page Pray for Elijah Belden Sunday evening.
“Elijah has been extubated tonight,” the post said. “Words just can’t express how happy mom and dad are that our son was able to tell us his name moments after the tube was removed.”
Alongside a photo of the boy open-eyed in his hospital bed, the family asked for continued prayers for the boy, who has seen support from youth baseball teams in the region and on social media under the hashtag #prayforElijah7.
Fellow students in Elijah’s fourth-grade class and even hospital staff donned pink socks in support of Elijah. One baseball team dedicated a game to him.
Elijah was being sedated because he became “very confused” after waking up, and needed to retain strength to continue healing, the page stated Monday morning.
“The best thing for him right now is stay calm, rest, and heal,” the post said.
Life in the pediatric intensive care unit was proving to be like a roller coaster, Elijah’s parents were learning.
The boy had been celebrating his birthday with a party a week early when he apparently touched a metal pole that may have been electrified by a string of lights attached nearby, the family told the Riverside Press-Enterprise, which originally reported the story.
Elijah’s mother and a baseball coach were shocked when they tried to come to his aid, father Tony Belden told the newspaper. They were not seriously injured.
Elijah was hospitalized near Temecula and then air-lifted to Rady Children’s Hospital.
There was no damage to Elijah’s heart or brain, hospital tests showed, but he needed to clear congestion from his lungs, the Facebook page stated.
The boy’s parents said they were thankful for “small victories every day.”
KTLA’s Tracy Bloom contributed to this article.