Cameron Calvisi misses his family back on the farm but is enjoying recovering with his dad Robert Calvisi by his side.
Cameron Calvisi misses his family back on the farm but is enjoying recovering with his dad Robert Calvisi by his side. Mark Cranitch

Miracle recovery for five-year-old boy shot in face

CAMERON Calvisi was meant to start Prep in Thulimbah yesterday, but instead he is recovering in hospital with a "halo" around his head.

It's an appropriate nickname for the metal neck brace that Cameron sports after undergoing three rounds of surgery to dislodge a bullet that lay in his C2 vertebra, only 1mm from his spinal cord.

"The doctors are calling it a miracle but I just call it saving a life," said Cameron's grandfather Tony Calvisi.

Tony said his five-year-old grandson was making an astonishing recovery after being shot in the face by his 12-year-old cousin in a horrific farm accident that shocked the whole family and community.

"He's improving every single day and it's just absolutely amazing to see the change in his personality," he said.

Relief has washed over the whole family as they see Cameron back up and walking around after his life hung in the balance through three rounds of risky surgery.

Tony said he was trying not to think about what could have happened if the bullet had gone any further, but was thankful for the patience and diligence of the doctors at the Lady Cilento Children's Hospital.

"They didn't want to go in gung-ho and take the bullet out, they took their time and made sure everything was perfect," he said. "So much could have gone wrong and they weren't too confident."

If the bullet moved 1mm during the surgery, the effects could have been fatal.

But Tony said Cameron came out on top and they were just focusing on the young boy's future.

"I don't want to go there, I just think that we were lucky and he was lucky - very lucky," Tony said.

Cameron has stayed silent about the accident since he started talking again, but is happy and talkative about everything else.

"The physio is taking him out each day to make sure everything keeps moving and he walks around with his father," Tony said.

"It's really amazing, it's incredible how young kids can bounce back."

A bright, active child, Cameron is missing his whole family and can't wait to get back to Tony and his cousins on the farm.

"He chats about how he misses everyone and wants to come home.

"Oh and he misses his fruit he was a real fruit eater but he can't eat at the moment because his throat isn't healed enough for really solid stuff so they don't want to rush it."

Cameron has spoken to the 12-year-old cousin that fired the .22 rifle on FaceTime and the two boys are looking forward to a reunion.

Tony said there was no bad blood in the family since the accident, and everyone was just incredibly relieved.

The community has also been supportive of the Calvisi family.

"I've had a lot of friends ring me and see me when I'm out and about and they've all offered their support.

"But I've told everyone we're not here for charity - all we want is prayers and good wishes for Cameron."