The 4-year-old Texas boy who was allegedly viciously attacked by his mother in February gave a big 'thank you' to his rescuers on Friday.
Ayden Duarte was found by Harris County Sheriff’s Deputies Pete Smith and Huey Townley repeatedly stabbed at his home in February.
The officers reportedly had to pull Ayden’s mother, 23-year-old Jenea Mungia, off of him.
"We just saw a need and acted on it," Townley said.
Nearly three months later, Ayden is out of the hospital and doing great.
Ayden attended the Children Crew of the Year Awards on Friday, where his rescuers were being honored, reports KHOU. He wore a firefighter outfit and had a gaggle of new firefighter toys with him. The honored group included the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department, Life Flight and Emergency Medical Services.
"It's a miracle," Smith said. "We were told things were not looking very good, and he's here."
Ayden was released from the hospital on April 30, according to a post by his father, Andres Duarte, on the "TeamAyden" Facebook page.
"We would like to take a moment to update everyone who has been a part of the amazing support system #TeamAyden over the last few months," the post read. "Ayden was finally released from the hospital this week! We still have a long road ahead of us, but with the power of God, friends [and] family[,] we can overcome anything." -Andres."
Smith and Townley were both honored on Friday.
"He remembered dying and flying in the helicopter and the helicopter took him to his dad and he was thankful, he thanked everybody for helping save him," said Courtney Johnson, assistant chief of EMS for the Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department.
Ayden gave thanks to everyone he encountered at the event, knowing they all played a part in his survival.
"They saved my life," Ayden said.
"I feel like the luckiest guy in the world," said Duarte, who did not know if he would ever witness his son healthy and happy again after the attack. "Not the first day … The first days were hard. But after like a week, you can at least believe."
Ayden was asked at the event what he wants to do when he grows up.
"Drive a firefighter truck!" Ayden replied.
Mungia is charged with injury to a child with serious bodily harm and is being held without bail in the Harris County Jail, reports The Daily Mail.
A FedEx driver reportedly witnessed Mungia beating and stabbing Ayden in the driveway of the home they shared with her parents and sister.
“She took his head and just slammed it on the cement, and I said, 'Lady, what are you doing what are you doing?' And she said 'Shoot me B!” FedEx driver Netha Preston recalled. “That's all she kept telling me, 'Shoot me! … When they arrested her she was naked from the top up and they picked her up and she turned around and looked at him and said 'die', and got in the truck.”
Ayden suffered “multiple stab wounds to the torso, contusions to the head from blunt force trauma and his genitals were partially mutilated,” according to prosecutors.
Photo Credit: The Daily Mail