MISSOULA, Mont. - A Montana high school student is fighting to protect his baby son after the child's mother and her boyfriend allegedly beat the child.
NBC Montana traveled to St. Ignatius Wednesday to get first-hand accounts from the family.
We're told toddler Mason Evans is doing well considering just a month ago he had to be airlifted to Seattle for emergency medical care. Now Mason is home again with his father Dylan Evans in St. Ignatius.
Dylan is a student, an athlete, even captain of his high school basketball team, but he says more importantly, he's a father.
He described the day he got the call that his son had been hospitalized with serious injuries.
"It was definitely really hard to see a baby -- let alone my baby -- like that, but they told me what to expect and how he looked," said Dylan.
Mason's grandma Lisa Evans says she can barely stomach what happened to him.
"I didn't think this would happen," she said. "I'm still shocked. It's so hard to fathom."
Lisa says Mason suffered internal bleeding, a broken leg, even lacerations to his pancreas.
"You could see bruises all over him and he was just lifeless," she said Lisa. "He reached for Dylan when Dylan walked in the room and then when I walked in the room he reached for me and I just held him all night long."
Dylan says Mason was released from the hospital after five days of treatment, and now his family couldn't be happier to have him home again.
"He says some funny things. He talks on the phone and he likes to take orders and then go and make you food," said Dylan. "He's precious and he's amazing."
"Everyone loves him and he's been spoiled rotten, and this community is so wonderful, which is good because he deserves to be spoiled rotten after everything," said Lisa. "They say as many good things that happen will help him forget all of the bad things."
As for Dylan, he says with Mason doing better, so is he.
"I can't imagine not being his dad now, it's an awesome feeling," said Dylan. "It's crazy to think I'm still in high school and a dad but at the same time I could never ask for a better life and I would never change it."
The Evans family wants to thank St. Ignatius and the surrounding communities for their support through this difficult time.
Dylan Evans tells NBC Montana the child's mother, 19-year-old Alexis Paul, and her boyfriend, 20-year-old Riley James Charlo-Whitworth, are expected to be in court in early June.
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