One little girl, 6-year-old Onicka Patterson, is a miracle child.
One little boy, an unidentified 4-year-old, needs a miracle.
A sobering juxtaposition of two innocent Bradenton lives impacted by violent circumstances over which neither had any control.
Last December Onicka survived a terrible car wreck and a traumatic head injury, but lived to thank her rescuers -- Longboat Key firefighter paramedic Brian Kolesa and Manatee County EMS medics Kevin Mackin and Jesse Mannix -- in an emotional reunion Monday.
The same day a 4-year-old boy lie in All Children's Hospital, blinded permanently in one eye
after he was struck by an errant bullet that entered his home after being fired in a drive-by shooting last Saturday.
According to Rev. Bob Sichta of Congregational United Church of Christ, which rents the house to the boy's mother and boyfriend, the 4-year-old could face further neurological complications.
That Onicka is still the vivacious little girl she was before the accident is heartwarming.
She was in a medically induced coma for almost two weeks.
She suffered not one, or two, but three strokes.
She has a plate in her skull and a permanent shunt to ease the pressure on her brain.
Yet there was Onicka Monday at a Long Boat Key fire station, doing Miley Cyrus' "Hoedown Throwdown" for her family, friends and admirers.
Her rescuers were blown away.
They didn't think they'd see the day Onicka would be walking and talking, let alone dancing and singing.
The stars were all lined up for her, one rescuer said.
If only that were so for that 4-year-old.
According to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office, the boy and his family were at home last Saturday morning when shots were fired by the occupant(s) of one vehicle toward another vehicle, but
one of the rounds entered the house and struck the boy's head.
Saturday mornings are a special time for a family at home, some rest and relaxation after a long work week, then doing chores and so forth.
To have that shattered and with such awful consequences is terrifying.
The MCSO have identified a "person of interest" who may know what happened in the drive-by shooting, but haven't found them yet.
Meantime, the 4-year-old, a fun-loving, life-loving boy, the pastor said, is in stable condition, responsive to conversations and has movement in his extremities
But the next couple of days are critical.
Whether the boy has permanent brain damage is still too early to tell.
His family prays for a miracle of their own.
A community prays for one, too.