Bailey O’Neill, a 12-year-old Pennsylvania boy who had been in a medically induced coma after getting punched on a school playground, has died.
His birthday was Saturday, and his family took the sixth-grader off life support on Sunday, Philly.com reported.
"Late yesterday, we were informed about the death of Bailey O'Neill," Southeast Delco School District Superintendent Stephen Butz said in a statement. “Our school community is deeply saddened by this loss. Our condolences are with Bailey's family and friends during this very difficult time."
Bailey’s death was also announced on the "Prayers for Bailey O’Neill" Facebook page.
“With the heaviest heart we want to inform you all that Bailey has gone to be with the Lord please, please, please continue to pray for his family and continue on this fight for us until no child ever has to face a situation like this again,” a statement on the Facebook page said. “God Bless You all thank you so much!”
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Bailey was jumped by two classmates and punched during recess Jan. 10 at Darby Township School, NBC Philadelphia reported. The boy had been in a medically induced coma after suffering seizures, a concussion and a broken nose.
One visitor to the "Building Hope For Bailey Facebook" page urged more than 1,900 Facebook users who liked the page to help support the family. The page had been created as an outlet for those touched by the incident to pray for Bailey and his family.
“As I sit in the backseat of baileys pop pops car as we get to the cemetery and pick out a plot and now head to the funeral home to discuss the process of the funeral I want to ask for everyone's help to pray and support baileys family!” one post read. “As much as I hate to ask I would like everyone to share the donation link so we can help ease the financial part of this all. Thank you all again for your prayers and support.”
The link is gofundme.com/218ua8.
Darby Township police and the county district attorney’s office said they are still investigating the incident, and no charges have yet been filed. Authorities haven't yet officially called the incident a case of "bullying," the Delaware County Times of Pennsylvania said.
However, Bailey’s death may lead to charges. There was video footage of the schoolyard incident that authorities are still reviewing.
In the wake of Bailey’s death, the operators of the "Prayers For Bailey O’Neill" page said they intend to change the name to “Justice for Bailey O’Neill” so that it would “become more about bullying awareness and ways to fight bullying.”
Butz said the school district would be bringing in grief counselors for students and staff following Bailey’s death.
"During this time, our thoughts and prayers are with Bailey's family and friends," he said.