GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Zander, the 3-year-old Gulfport boy who was airlifted to a Mobile Hospital with severe injuries while in the care of his father is showing signs of improvement.
Authorities believe the injuries were a result of child abuse. Emily Saucier has been her son's side since Monday.
"He's an innocent little boy. He doesn't deserve to be there, nobody does," said Saucier.
Suffering from burns, a collapsed lung and a damaged liver, Zander is getting better. The ventilator that had been in since he arrived at The University of South Alabama Children's Hospital in Mobile on Monday has now been removed.
Emily says Zander is alert, and interacting with family members.
"He can't talk or anything, but he is communicating by nodding his head and pointing at things," said Saucier.
Facing an extremely difficult situation, Emily is seeing an outpouring of support including from her church. On Wednesday, hundreds attended a prayer vigil at Nugent United Methodist Church in Gulfport.
"We haven't been members that long of this church and with everything they have done so far, it just amazes me how much they care for Zander and I," said Saucier. "My family has been here by my side non-stop. Friends and family are donating so much to us, so we don't have to stress over the small things. It's just overwhelming sometimes, but good overwhelming."
While Zander's father, Nathan Blake McCroy, sits in the Jackson County Jail facing charges of felony child abuse, Emily's bond with her son is growing stronger.
"I'll definitely not take things for granted anymore," said Saucier. "I have learned that I can be stronger than what I ever I give myself."