New York Daily News

Punks send homeless man to hosp

- BY ESHA RAY and LARRY McSHANE

AN INNOCENT question from their surviving 5-year-old son sent Dina and Thomas Silvera spiraling into a dark place once again.

“Sebastian asked us how we could go see his baby brother in heaven,” the parents recalled Friday. “‘Can we ride a rocket ship to reach to him?’ he asked. And our hearts broke all over again.”

The devastated mom and dad were still waiting for answers in the death one week earlier of their 3-year-old Elijah, killed after an allergic reaction to a grilled cheese sandwich in a Harlem daycare.

The adorable, brown-eyed boy died Nov. 3 after staff at the Seventh Avenue Center for Family Services served him the fatal food despite his allergy to dairy products.

The parents charged the facility’s workers were made aware of his dietary restrictio­ns.

“Every day since Elijah has left us has been so painful,” the parents wrote in a statement Friday. “We come home to an apartment that has an eerie kind of emptiness. It is filled with his toys, his pictures on our walls.”

Their message appeared on a GoFundMe page where more than 1,200 people had donated $48,372 by Friday afternoon. The family plans to hold a funeral next week for Elijah in Brooklyn.

A family spokesman declined to say Friday if a lawsuit was in the works, although the Silveras have hired a lawyer.

The combinatio­n pre-K and daycare operation, shuttered on Wednesday, remained closed as a city Health Department investigat­ion into the sudden and tragic death continued.

The business was shut down for failure to follow its written safety plan and failure to adequately supervise a child, authoritie­s said.

Elijah was rushed to the pediatric emergency room at Harlem Hospital, where a desperate effort to save his life failed.

Thomas Silvera recalled arriving at the facility, only to watch his heartbroke­n wife collapse as he approached her.

Elijah was nicknamed “Choo Choo” by his dad, a testament to the child’s full-speed-ahead approach to life. He was best friends with his older sibling Sebastian.

“He was just bright and energetic,” said Ruben Porras, a cousin of the boy’s dad. “He and his brother were partners in crime — always, always, always together.

“It really breaks my heart seeing Sebastian now and thinking about that.”

Dina and Thomas sent a special thank you to the hundreds of strangers who shared their love and money with the family.

“We are moved to tears to know that we are not alone, both A HOMELESS man was slugged in the back of the head and sent flying down a flight of stairs in a Bronx subway station, police said Friday.

Andres Cortijo was attacked after he got off an uptown No. 5 train at the 160th St. and Prospect Ave. station around 1:30 p.m. on Nov. 1, according to cops.

The 65-year-old man said two young men and a girl invited him to go through the turnstile.

“It seemed suspicious so I went through the gate,” recalled Cortijo. “Then the one in the blue said ‘You’re an idiot.’ I said ‘The only idiot around here is you.’ ”

As he walked to the exit of the elevated train station, one of the menattacke­d him, Cortijo said.

Medics rushed him to Lincoln Hospital where he said he spent four days being treated.

The attacker, who left Cortijo’s belongings untouched, is still at large, said.

The feisty victim said that he wasn’t able to defend himself against his assailant.

“I’m 65. I wouldn’t have a chance,” he said. “In my younger days I would fight them. I’m still tough.”

 ??  ?? Thomas Silvera (below) holds son Sebastian, who asks if he can take rocket to heaven to see his brother Elijah (right) who died at Harlem daycare (below, right) after eating food he was allergic to. Flowers and candles (bottom, r.) form a memorial...
Thomas Silvera (below) holds son Sebastian, who asks if he can take rocket to heaven to see his brother Elijah (right) who died at Harlem daycare (below, right) after eating food he was allergic to. Flowers and candles (bottom, r.) form a memorial...

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