If you’ve been on social media lately, you’ve probably seen the hashtag “#WeStandWithLiam.” This hashtag is everywhere now because of a sad story about bullying.
Bullying isn’t something you should ignore. You, too, have been picked on at some point in your life. Bullying can happen to anyone at any age. Even adults have this happen to them.
It can happen at any point in your life, and you can’t get ready for it. But if you hear stories about how parents and kids dealt with bullying, you might be surprised by how many young kids in our community have to deal with it these days.
Liam is one of these young kids who has to deal with bullying in a very scary way.
Liam’s family had to get him help from a professional so he could be happy again. When he was in the seventh grade, bullies picked on him at school. Liam is the kind of kid who loved to ride his bike to his friends’ houses. When they had free time, they would go play soccer.
Then, all of a sudden, his mother, Deirdre Fell-O’Brien, noticed and felt that something was wrong with her son.
Liam stopped doing the things he loved to do. She started to worry when Liam gave up his phone. When she asked him why, he just said he didn’t want it anymore, brushed off her question, and stormed back to his room and shut the door. Then everything went wrong.
Liam stopped riding his bike, stopped going to see his friends, and didn’t want to play soccer either. Even the way he ate changed, and he stopped eating anything at home. He also lost a lot of weight because of this.
Diedre knew she had to figure out what was going on. She sat him down one day and tried to get him to talk. At first, he was hesitant, but after being pushed over and over, he finally let it all out. Nothing could have made her ready for what her son told her.
Diedre says that Liam told her he was being picked on at school and that it had been going on for a year. This is not the usual kind of teasing at school, though. He said that at first, the bullies would tell him that he was bad at soccer and didn’t deserve to be on the team.
When they talked to him, they would insult him verbally, call him names, and use bad language. Then, they would tell him, “Just kill yourself.”
His parents took him to the hospital so that doctors could check on him. And the doctors told them that Liam needed to be fed through a tube because he wasn’t getting enough food and they needed to treat it quickly. This was the only way to do it. They put a heart monitor on him as well. Liam also had to go through a lot of therapy because he had problems with depression and eating. Liam is finally healthier and happier now that his 10 weeks of intensive therapy are over.
Diedre talked to the bullies’ parents, but they didn’t want to work with her or take responsibility for what their kids had done.
Deirdre could not believe that this had happened to her son. So, she decided to look for help online to help Liam feel better about himself. This is what started the hashtag “#WeStandWithLiam.” Even the NASDAQ showed this hashtag in Times Square to show support for Liam, who is now on his way to a full recovery.