Getting from July 2020 to July 2021 has been no easy feat for now 8-year-old Gavin Ludwick. This month marked one year since he was brutally attacked outside his Desert Hot Springs home. The attack left him in critical condition with injuries to his skull and difficulty with motor function to his left arm.
The family has been in and out of the hospital over the course of a year. Despite a tough road to recovery, Gavin has come out resilient, showing bravery and mere courage for what he's overcome.
When asked what Gavin's mom, Wendy Ludwick, has taken away from the traumatic experience since the attack she said, "how strong children can be, and the doctors and all the prayers that we got. Everybody was so supportive and so good. Just hold your children close because you never know."
The Ludwick's have set off to have a fun-filled summer after last year proved to be extremely trying.
"Last summer was so hard with being in the hospital and the attack and everything that I wanted to make this summer happy and fun," Ludwick said. "We started at San Diego Zoo and then we went to Disneyland and then we went to Sea World and the last trip we went to Knott's Berry Farm. Gavin said his favorite was Sea World because he loved the dolphins."
Gavin was attacked on July 18, 2020. A neighbor who knows the family found him lying facedown on the pavement.
"At first glance I didn't see him until I turned the car over and I saw his body and at first glance I couldn't believe it, I thought it was my imagination," neighbor Alturo Delgado told News Channel 3 last July.
"It’s been hard for me to let him go play outside unless he’s in the backyard where it’s all fenced in, but he wants to be a boy, he wants to go play on the scooter in the front yard. The backyard doesn’t have the sidewalks and stuff, that’s really hard to let him go outside," Ludwick said.
Meanwhile the suspect, Daniel Poulsen, lived a few homes down from the family. He was arrested and charged with attempted murder.
Several court proceedings have been delayed and criminal court proceedings have been suspended. The next court date is set for August 25 to determine whether Poulsen is mentally competent to stand trial.
While family and friends continue to fight to keep Poulsen in custody, they continue to move forward.
"(Gavin) was never upset or sad or anything, he was always happy, always wanting to play and give hugs and he’s such a little miracle and such a good boy and I'm just so proud to be his mom," said Wendy.