Boy shot in face is now riding high
A YEAR ago, little Cameron Calvisi was a millimetre from death after being shot in the face by his cousin in a shocking backyard accident.
Today, six-year-old Cameron is all smiles and his father Robert says the two of them are ready to make 2019 their best year yet.
After finishing his last specialist appointment in Brisbane, Cameron - from Cottonvale near Stanthorpe - will start Year 1 in two weeks.
Mr Calvisi says they are hoping to forget about what was very nearly one of 2018's most tragic accidents.
"Everything's been going good for Cameron. He hasn't complained or anything, he just wants to move on," Mr Calvisi told The Courier-Mail.
"He has spoken to me about it. He doesn't really want to think about it.
"He just wants to go back to school."
Cameron and his older cousins, aged 7 and 12, were playing in their grandfather's farm shed on the family's apple orchard when the 12-year-old found a .22 rifle in the back of a ute. The 12-year-old fired a shot from only a few metres away, not knowing the gun was loaded.
The bullet hit Cameron in the face, just below his right-side cheek and became lodged in his neck and just 1mm from his spine.
Blood pouring from his face and in shock, Cameron stumbled 20m into the family home, as a severe afternoon storm raged around him.
He approached his father and said "Daddy, I've been shot", before he was rushed to hospital.
After multiple attempts, the bullet was finally removed days later.
Mr Calvisi was charged with unlawful possession of a weapon. Cameron's grandfather, Antonio Calvisi, was also charged with failing to secure a weapon. Both men eventually pleaded guilty.
"I think (Cameron's) just relieved I didn't go to jail, because that's where I was going - two years and six months (in jail) is a long time," Mr Calvisi said.
This year could see the family relocate, as he looks to pick up a new job and move on with his life. Mr Calvisi has no doubt he and Cameron will take the lessons of 2018 with them, wherever they are.
"I don't think Cameron will touch guns. He'll be too focused on school and getting a job as he gets older," he said.