The toddler critically injured during a SWAT raid in Habersham County is headed home to Wisconsin and the long road to recovery, a lawyer for the family told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Bounkham Phonesavanh was seriously injured when a “flash bang” grenade went off in his playpen during an early morning raid a month ago that netted no drugs and no drug dealer. The explosion caused a brain injury, collapsed a lung and disfigured the boy’s face, said Mawuli Davis, an attorney for the family.
“He had to re-learn how to walk so to see him walk out of the hospital this morning was a miracle,” Davis said Tuesday.
Surgeons repaired the boy’s lung so he no longer needs a ventilator and patched and re-attached his nose that had been detached by the explosion as well as repaired injuries to his lips and mouth, Davis said.
“His face still has significant scarring, and there will be some need in the future for more plastic surgery” Davis said.
On Monday, the 19-month-old had his first meal with his family since the May 28 raid — and the family is preparing a farewell breakfast for “Bou Bou” at Delightful Eatz in southeast Atlanta on Wednesday, Davis said.
The family is preparing to return to Wisconsin, where they lived until a house fire sent them to stay with relatives in Habersham County earlier this year.
The botched raid renewed the debate over police tactics of using “no-knock warrants,” in which they crash into houses unannounced for searches as well as the national debate about the militarization of police. The tragedy brought back memories of the botched Atlanta raid that left a 92-year-old woman dead.
It also brought to light a similarly botched raid in Clayton County.