Cameron Calvisi, aged four.
Cameron Calvisi, aged four.

Shot 5-year-old ‘1mm from death’

CAMERON Calvisi, 5, was one millimetre away from death, doctors have told his father.

The Cottonvale boy miraculously survived being shot in the face on a property near Stanthorpe, southwest of Brisbane, on Tuesday.

Surgeons yesterday performed a second surgery on the child but opted not to remove the bullet from his neck, due to the object being dangerously close to his spine.

Cameron Calvisi and his father Robert.
Cameron Calvisi and his father Robert.

While his grandfather, Tony Calvisi, concedes Cameron is "not out of the woods yet", the five-year-old was conscious and talking to his father yesterday afternoon.

"He was really close (to dying)," Tony said.

"The doctors told (Cameron's father Robert) that had it travelled another millimetre, he wouldn't be here.

"They're really, really taking it very carefully. But he's good. He's talking and he asked for his father when he came out of surgery."

Cameron was playing in the family shed on Granite Belt Drive during a lightning storm when his 12-year-old cousin discovered the .22 rifle.

Pretending to shoot Cameron, the cousin accidentally fired a single shot above Cameron's left-side jaw.

The bullet shattered Cameron's jaw and became lodged in his neck, a fraction away from his spine.

He remains in a serious but stable condition in Brisbane's Lady Cilento Hospital.

Tony told The Courier-Mail yesterday that a second boy, aged seven, witnessed the incident. He is another of Cameron's cousins.

Both cousins were interviewed by police on Wednesday.

According to Tony, Cameron remained conscious after being shot.

Cameron's dad, Robert Calvisi, heard the shot and ran downstairs to find his little boy on the ground in the shed.

Tony remembers Robert sprinting back upstairs telling him: "I've got to take Cameron to the hospital because he's been shot.

Cameron Calvisi when he was 3 years old.
Cameron Calvisi when he was 3 years old.

"He was conscious. He knew where he was, he knew who we were - everything. I don't know if he said anything when he was in the hospital."

Since the accident, both of Cameron's cousins have suffered post-traumatic stress.

"(The 12-year-old cousin) gets a few little flashbacks every now and again and goes quiet," Tony said.

"I guess that's natural. They try to keep themselves busy so they're not sitting around - so they're not thinking about what happened."

And while Cameron appears to be making a miracle recovery, his grandfather warned he still had a way to go.

"They said that it's lodged (near his spine) and they needed to be careful - real careful," Tony said.

"It's just the position that it's in. They don't want to do any damage. It's going to stay there a bit longer - probably another week or so."

A third surgery is planned in the coming weeks.

The family is pushing for Cameron to be transferred to Toowoomba Hospital after the bullet's removal, so that he can be closer to family.

Robert and his sister Lisa remain in Brisbane's Lady Cilento Hospital at Cameron's bedside.

"We're hoping he's able to come home," Tony said.

"He's not out of the woods yet. What Robert has told me is that he's doing well. He's still serious, but he's doing really well."

Cameron Calvisi and his mother Jo-Jo Lampson.
Cameron Calvisi and his mother Jo-Jo Lampson.

Cameron's estranged mother Jo-Jo Lampson remains in Stanthorpe, Tony said.

She did not want to comment on the incident, her boyfriend said yesterday.

In a statement, police said the firearm used in the incident was registered, but they did not say who owned the weapon.

Detectives have discussed the possibility of charges, acknowledging the weapon was not stored correctly.