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Baby Shot With Brad Nailer Prayer Request

by Brett M. Christensen

This story was first published on August 12, 2010

Viral message asks recipients to pray for the recovery of a 22-month-old who accidentally shot himself in the chest with a brad nailer.

Brief Analysis:
Versions of the message have been circulating since 2010. Details about the accident described in this message remain unverified. However, some references suggest that the accident took place in Champaign, Illinois in late July 2010 and involved a baby named Hayden. Later reports indicate that Hayden had fully recovered from his injuries. Thus, even if the accident did take place as described, this prayer request is now outdated and redundant and its further circulation is pointless. The message has mutated as it travels and there are now a number of versions that list different names for the mother of the injured child.

PRAYERS NEEDED: Urgent prayer request!
[Name removed]22 month old son accidentally shot himself in the chest with a brad nailer (construction nail gun). It went off in his heart ~ He is now in critical condition and not doing well. Neither is his mom ~ Please start a prayer chain for this baby.
Please copy & re-post. As you would want someone to do it for you, thanx guys I wanna see this as your status for at least half hr please!!!! A good friend just posted, asking all prayers warriors to start their own chain by copy and paste, and I don’t ask often, but this is just a baby.
The power of prayer. God says wherever there is three or more gathered in His name in complete harmony He will give them whatever they ask for. So please let’s all be in complete Harmony and say this prayer for Kayla Scott’s baby.
Heavenly Father we come before you through Your son Jesus Christ we all pray that you heal Kayla Scott’s baby. We know that there is nothing that You can’t do. So please heal her baby. We are all in complete harmony. And we also pray You give her strength. Thank you Father in the name of your son Jesus Christ Amen. Our prayers are with you. God Bless
Please pray for this family.


URGENT PRAYER REQUEST: Posting for a FB friend of a friend: 22 month old son shot himself in the chest with a brad nailer, it went in his heart, he is in critical condition not doing good, neither is mom~ please start a prayer chain. Please copy and repost and pray for them. Thank you!


Reposting for a friend…[Name Removed] 22 month old son accidentally shot himself in the chest with a brad nailer. It went into his heart. He is now in critical condition and not doing well. Neither is his mom. Please, start a prayer chain for this baby!! Please copy and ………repost…you would want someone to do this…… for you!


Passing along this prayer request… Please pray for [Name Removed] 22 month old son, he shot himself in the chest with a brad nailer. It went in his heart, he is in critical condition and not doing well, neither is his mom, please start a prayer chain. Please copy and repost… Please pray… what if it was your child?

Detailed Analysis:
A message that asks for prayers for a severely injured baby who shot himself with a nail gun is currently circulating via Facebook, online forums and other social networking websites. The message first began circulating in early August 2010.

According to the message, the 22-month-old boy accidentally shot himself in the heart with a brad nailer and is currently in a critical condition. The message asks recipients to “start a prayer chain” by reposting the plea to others.

The message contains no information about where or when the accident took place. Moreover, there are now several versions of the message circulating, all of which state different names for the child’s mother.

At least some of these names are likely to be the names of people that have done nothing more than repost the message and have no direct connection to the child. It is not uncommon for such mistakes to occur when messages are rapidly and widely circulated around cyberspace. And, in fact, some earlier versions of the message do not list any name at all.

Whatever the cause, the use of several different names has created a lot of confusion and has led many recipients to believe that the message is a hoax. So far, I have not been able to conclusively verify if the accident described in these messages actually occurred. That said, a person claiming to be the father of the injured baby has posted details about the accident on the PRAY-ers forum. According to these posts, the baby’s name is Hayden and the accident occurred on 29th July 2010. The posts note that Hayden is recovering well and was treated at the Carle Clinic and Foundation Hospital in Champaign, Illinois. And another post published on the BabyCenter Community forum also describes Hayden’s accident and includes a photograph of the heavily bandaged child. A later post on the same site reiterates that the accident really did take place as described and was not a hoax as suggested by some commentators. The August 18 post also notes that the baby had by that time recovered from his injuries and had returned home to his family.

While some have suggested that a small child could not have managed to shoot himself with a nail gun, it should be noted that such accidents are not unprecedented. A 2004 medical journal report describes a case in which a three your old child shot himself with his father’s nail gun.

In any case, this prayer request is now outdated and redundant and its further circulation is utterly pointless. If, as seems likely, the information in the original message was factual, then follow up reports about the incident suggest that Hayden has already recovered. Thus, there is no longer any reason to circulate this “urgent” prayer request.

Importance Notice

After considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.

These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.

Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.

And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.

When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.

I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.

A Big Thank You

I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.

I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.

Closing Date

Hoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.

Thank you, one and all!

Brett Christensen,