Bailey O'Neill, 12, passed away after succumbing to his wounds at the hands of two classmates. The boy's family has said he is "with God," but they hope that his death will help raise awareness of bullying.
O'Neill was hit in the face several times and suffered a broken nose before falling to the ground, according to reports. He also had a concussion that caused him to sleep a lot and be "moody" and "not himself. He was angry a little bit. He wasn't really eating," the boy's father, Rob, told ABC.
O'Neill then began having seizures, and doctors were forced to put him into a medically induced coma two weeks ago. At the time, O'Neill's parents were hopeful that he would recover.
"Every day I'm trying to stay strong for him," Rob told WPVI-TV at the time. "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."
Unfortunately, O'Neill caught pneumonia while in the hospital and had to have a blood transfusion. He never recovered from the virus and passed away on Sunday, March 3. The news was even more devastating given that his birthday was on Saturday.
"First of all, I want to say the battle isn't over. We will remember Bailey always and we will continue this fight until bullying is eradicated. With the heaviest heart we want to inform you all that Bailey has gone to be with the Lord," a Facebook page dedicated to O'Neill posted yesterday.
His story has garnered national attention and even that of Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Rice, who posted on the Facebook wall.
"Bailey – my little buddy, I will not let you become just another bully statistic… you are my inspiration and one more angel that will help me continue the fight for kids everywhere. You are going to help me save lives. RIP my little friend," Rice wrote.