KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 21 ― A nine-year-old boy, who suffers from Achondroplasia, the most common form of Dwarfism, has won the hearts of internet users.
This, after his mother posted a video of him crying following a bullying incident at his Brisbane school in Australia.
Within two days after Quaden Bayles' mother Yarraka shared the heart-wrenching video that showed Quaden crying after he was bullied at school, support has been pouring in from all over the world for the boy,
From trips to Disneyland to an invitation by the Indigenous All Stars NRL team which invited Quaden to walk them onto the pitch on Saturday night, hashtag #QuadenBayles is now trending on Twitter.
Relating the incident to Australia's Special Broadcasting Service, Yarraka said one of Quaden's classmates was patting him on the head and making references to his height when they were lining up to get their singlets signed by Brisbane Bullets' basketball players.
“She was patting him on the head like a little puppy. My daughter and I looked at each other and we made signals to him to ask if you are right and he was like 'no' and he was looking at me horrified, like 'don't make a scene mum'.”
“You could tell he was very uncomfortable but he was so good at trying to shrug things off, he doesn't want people to know how much it's affecting him, he's so strong and confident but it's times like these when you just see him crumble. It was just heartbreaking to watch, it made me feel helpless.”
Yarraka said Quaden was 'hysterical' after school, so she took him to her car and talked it over with him where she started filming his reaction where he threatened to take his own life and said 'he wished he was dead.'
Yarraka added that Quaden had first attempted suicide when he was just six years old following the passing of his grandfather and since then, he has made constant attempts with some very close calls.
While she received support from the community after the video went viral with views over 16 million, Yarraka said there was also criticism.
“I have copped a lot of backlash for it, I thought twice about deleting it ... but I wanted people to see the effect bullying is having on my child. If I don't stand up and speak out for him, who will?” she was reported as saying.
On Quaden's current condition, Yarraka said he was doing fine and was looking forward to attending the Indigenous All Stars match on the Gold Coast on Saturday night to watch his uncle James Roberts in action.
James has been in contact with Quaden and is organising for him to run out with the team prior to the match, she added.
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