A Pennsylvania boy has been placed in a medically induced coma after a schoolyard fight with several bullies left the 11-year-old boy severely injured.
According to Philadelphia ABC News affiliate WPVI-TV, Delaware County sixth-grader Bailey O’Neill had been bullied for a long time, and the confrontations came to a head in a schoolyard fight four weeks ago.
Bailey was being attacked by several other children who hit him in the face and broke his nose. After the blows, Bailey was knocked down and hit his head on the pavement, causing a concussion.
Bailey’s father Rob O’Neill says they took him to the hospital, and though doctors found nothing wrong with his son, Bailey simply wasn’t the same.
"He was sleeping. He was moody. He wasn't himself. He was angry a little bit. He wasn't really eating," O’Neill told WPVI-TV.
Soon after, Bailey began suffering from several violent seizures, and doctors at A.I. DuPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Del., were forced to place him in a medically induced coma two weeks ago.
ABC News attempted to find out more information on Bailey’s condition, but due to privacy laws concerning minors, the doctors cannot release any additional information. O’Neill stated that seeing his son in a coma has been extremely stressful for him.
"Every day I'm trying to stay strong for him, but when you get into that hospital room and you're looking at him, I would trade places in a heartbeat. It's my buddy, you know," O'Neill said.
Southeast Delco School District Superintendent Stephen Butz said that not only does the school attempt to stop bullying, but it has asked local police to join the investigation.
"We take bullying seriously," he said in a statement. "We have requested that the local police assist us in the investigation of this incident and are fully cooperating with their investigation of this incident. We are very concerned about the medical condition of the student and our thoughts and prayers are with the family and students."
O’Neill says that while the child who hit Bailey was suspended for two days, no criminal charges have been filed. He does not believe this is enough, and warned other parents to watch out for signs of bullying in their children.
"Keep an eye out for it, it's something that's very serious. Sometimes kids are afraid to tell their parents that they're being bullied because of the embarrassment," O'Neill said.
Eric Brown is an IBTimes reporter who eats far too much pizza. He is a graduate of Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, and currently resides in Brooklyn.