A boy was given a second chance at life and a new dad after narrowly escaping a deadly ordeal that claimed the lives of the rest of his family.
A Hillsborough County detective, Mike Blair, and his wife did their bit in making the world a better place when they adopted a traumatized kid earlier this year.
The boy, who lived through the harrowing ordeal of watching his dad, Ronnie O’Neal III, stab his mom and siblings before setting them on fire, had a long way to recovery ahead of him.
The unimaginable ordeal took place in 2018 when the boy was only eight years old. He was with his mother, Kenyatta Barron, and nine-year-old sister Ron’Niveya on that fateful day when his dad went berserk and attacked them.
Watching the two women he loved fall to their deaths, the youngster knew he needed to stay alive for them. Hence, he never stopped fighting for his life, even after Ronnie III attacked him and set him on fire with the others.
Emergency responders arrived just in time to rescue the tot, Ronnie IV, and medevac him to Tampa General. But, given his condition, doctors expected the worst.
Detective Blair was one of many officers who responded at the scene after receiving calls reporting the horrifying incident. When he learned the sole survivor was an 8-year-old who was not expected to live, the cop felt his heart tear apart.
He visited the boy at the hospital the first chance he got and watched him defy medical odds. Ronnie spent the days that followed fighting for his life despite knowing no family awaited him at the end of the line.
Yet, he never gave up. Thankfully, Blair kept up with his visits, which became more frequent. Soon enough, the duo bonded, with the cop easily becoming the closest thing to a family the tot had.
Meanwhile, Ronnie’s dad was arrested and sentenced to three life terms in prison. His crimes also attracted an additional 60 years imprisonment.
Following Ronnie’s recovery, the detective told his wife about him, and she shared his sympathies. The pair invited him for a movie night afterward and realized at once that they needed to do more to alleviate his heartache.
They got their chance soon enough. One day, Ronnie’s relatives approached the parents of five, asking if they could foster the young lad.
Detective Blair’s wife and kids embraced the idea immediately, instantly urging their dad to comply. Five months later, they welcomed the youngster into their large family.
While the youngster appreciates the second chance at life his new family gave him, adapting to his new reality was somewhat daunting. He shared:
“I go to a different church; I have a different brother and sister, different mom and dad, different house. But it’s pretty cool to be with them. They are really nice people.’
Despite loving his new parents to bits, Ronnie admitted to missing his biological mom and sister. Luckily, his new family is more than willing to fill the void, making him feel loved and accepted for the rest of his life.