The Doctors: Bailey O’Neill “Bullied To Death”
The Doctors shared the emotional, yet extremely important story, of 12-year-old Bailey O’Neill. It’s been reported that Bailey, who recently passed away after being in a coma for several weeks, was “bullied to death.”
The Darby Township School student was attacked on January 10 2013 in the schoolyard. Another student who witnessed the fight described the way in which Bailey as mercilessly assaulted, never hitting back but attempting in vain to protect his head. Bailey was struck repeatedly in the head, and it’s now believed that this attack is what caused the honor student’s tragic, premature death.
The Drs: Bailey O’Neill’s Father Rob O’Neill Interview
Dr. Jim Sears flew to Pennsylvania for an interview with Bailey’s father, Rob O’Neill. The grieving father described his son as a calm, smart boy who loved school. Rob was aware of the bullying that Bailey faced on a daily basis, especially from the one particular child who attacked him on January 10.
Rob recalled the way in which Bailey described the attack. After having been challenged to a fight by the other student, Bailey attempted to walk away but was punched in the face. Bailey fell to the ground, hit his head, and was then struck several more times while on the ground. Bailey returned home after the incident and appeared visibly upset and irritable. Bailey’s parents took him to the emergency room where it was discovered that he had suffered a nasal fracture.
A couple of days later, after Bailey continued to appear moody and confused, he returned with his parents to the hospital. After more x-rays determined that Bailey had suffered a concussion, “violent” seizures began, including shaking and foaming at the mouth. Bailey’s doctors suggested that he be placed into a medically-induced coma. After 30 days, however, Bailey’s situation did not improve. The seizures continued, and Bailey’s parents made the impossibly difficult decision to remove their son from life support. When Bailey was admitted into the hospital, he was 11-years-old. As Bailey’s twelfth birthday began to approach, his parents decided to allow his birthday to pass. Bailey was taken off life support the day after his twelfth birthday, so that his parents could sing “Happy Birthday” to their son one final time and say goodbye.
Neurosurgeon Dr. Neil Martin: Bailey O’Neill Head Trauma
Back inside The Doctors studio, the audience was moved by this heartbreaking story. Dr. Sears was also visibly upset, while Dr. Andrew Ordon asked the seemingly obvious question, “Why?” Unfortunately, little schoolyard fights are nothing new, but how is it that a bullying incident could lead to such a tragic death?
Neurosurgeon Dr. Neil Martin explained how a schoolyard fight could lead to lasting brain injuries, even death. “There’s no such thing as a minor head injury,” he explained. Any injury can be fatal if it causes trauma to the brain. While Dr. Martin can’t speak for Bailey’s case, he does believe that impact on the skull created a contusion, or bruise on the brain. When this occurs, “Your brain’s electrical circuits go haywire,” Dr. Travis Stork explained, and Dr. Sears added, “your brain is getting fried.”
The Doctors: Battle For Bailey
Rob O’Neill will continue to fight bullying in honor of his son. He believes that there should be “zero tolerance” for bullying in schools, and harsher punishments for repeat offenders like the child who attacked Bailey. Rob has created Battle For Bailey in memory of his son.
This story is obviously heartbreaking, and bullying continues to be a problem in schools. What’s your take on the tragic story of Bailey O’Neill? Are schools doing enough to prevent bullying?