Girl, 9, shot with bow and arrow in Macon County - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Girl, 9, shot with bow and arrow in Macon County

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LAFAYETTE, TN (WSMV) -

A common Christmas gift given to one child caused a life-threatening injury to another.

A 9-year-old girl is receiving care for a serious brain injury after she was shot in the head by an arrow.

Sara Charles was flown to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where doctors said the arrow punctured the girl's temple, penetrated her brain and went all the way through.

She remains in critical condition, and family and friends are praying for her recovery as investigators share her story in hopes that it doesn't happen to anyone else.

The young girl had only been in town for two hours before the accident. She was visiting from Ohio with her sister and grandparents for a post-Christmas trip.

One of the first things on her agenda, of course, was playing with new presents. But one of them - a bow and arrow - became very dangerous.

"Just in a split second, a child can be injured," said Macon Co. Sheriff Mark Gammons.

Sara and two other children were playing with the bow just outside a Westmoreland barn, using bails of hay for targets.

However, when Sara ran to retrieve one of the arrows, she ended up in the direct path of another.

It struck her head and penetrated her brain.

"It's just one of those unexplainable things that, 'how did this happen,' you know. It's just a tragedy," said family member Pam Hall.

Investigators say an adult was nearby and the family then rushed the girl to a nearby clinic before LifeFlight transported her to Vanderbilt.

Now, her mother and grandparents are holding vigil by her side.

"We just pray that she'll be OK," Hall said.

Friends and family are also sending out thoughts and prayers online, and the sheriff hopes this kind of tragedy will never happen again.

"We're all concerned nowadays about guns, but you can get hurt or injured or even killed by any type of object if you're not paying attention to what you're doing," he said. "This is the first time for me. I hope it's the last time."

The sheriff said the little girl was moving her hands and feet at the doctors' request Wednesday morning. They are hoping that is a good sign that she'll be able to recover.

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