MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Peltier family, which was nearly torn apart by a high-speed police chase in Minneapolis last summer, is choosing to focus on the positive this holiday season.

For Nicolle and Kyle Peltier, nothing is more rewarding than spending an evening at home with their entire family.

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“We got this place and it’s small, but it’s home because our family is here, all of us today,” said Nicolle Peltier. “I got my Christmas gift by being able to bring my babies home.”

This past year was more than challenging.

“2018 was rough,” Nicolle said.

A high-speed chase through north Minneapolis on June 11 would change their lives forever. Two-year-old Kayden and his 4-year-old sister Lillianna were seriously hurt when an SUV being chased by state troopers hit them on the playground of Bohanon Park. Their 3-year-old brother Conner was hit too, but had minor injuries.

“Kayden alone, the one that was run over by the SUV, he really shouldn’t be alive,” Kyle Peltier said.

“We were told that he wasn’t going to walk, he wasn’t going to talk. Then we were told, ‘He might walk, he might talk … the brain activity looks OK but he still has TBI, traumatic brain injury, and we don’t know [if] he’s going to be him when he wakes up,’” Nicolle said.

(credit: CBS)

At the time of the accident, Nicolle was pregnant with Killian, their eighth child. He was born five months later with a serious condition.

“He was born with something called an omphalocele, and it means the organs are on the outside of his body,” Nicolle said. “His liver, his bowel and part of his stomach inside this bump on belly was actually a lot larger when he was born.”

Killian also has two holes in his heart. He will need open heart surgery to fix that, and another surgery to pull his abdomen walls back together.

“We can’t accept defeat, you got to keep on going,” Nicolle said.

Kyle and Nicolle say they are concentrating on the positive, like Kayden.

“He’s running around just like any other kid, he just can’t move his neck like anybody else,” Kyle said. “He seems to over eat, he can’t sense to sense when he’s full.”

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And Killian’s siblings only fight over who gets to hold him next.

“I’m glad that it’s where it is now. It can only go up from here,” Nicolle said.

Not accepting defeat is something Nicolle learned from her husband Kyle, a Marine who survived two tours in Iraq as an infantryman.

Next week, WCCO-TV will have more on his service and what the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans (MACV) is doing to help the family. That is all part of our special Home for the Holidays campaign.

A GoFundMe site has been set up to help the Peltier family.

Reg Chapman