Bullying victim in coma, dad of boy, 11, says

February 7, 2013 (DARBY TWP., Pa.)

The 11-year-old's parents say it was all because of a bully. From a schoolyard fight at Darby Township School to a medically induced coma, police are trying to figure out exactly what happened to sixth grader Bailey O'Neill.

"I want to hear his voice, his mother wants to hear his voice," Bailey's father Rob O'Neill said.

Rob O'Neill says four weeks ago his 11-year-old son was being bullied by a couple of kids when one hit him in the face several times, fracturing his nose. He was also knocked down, causing a concussion. Bailey's parents had him checked out at the hospital, but something still wasn't right.

"He was sleeping. He was moody. He wasn't himself. He was angry a little bit. He wasn't really eating," Rob O'Neill said.

A few days later, Bailey took a turn for the worse and started having violent seizures. Doctors at A.I. duPont Hospital for Children were forced to put Bailey into a medically induced coma almost two weeks ago.

"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," Rob O'Neill said.

Bailey is an honor student, an athlete and a big brother. Southeast Delco School District Superintendent Stephen Butz said the district asked Darby Township police to investigate. The statement read, "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 this student. And our thoughts and prayers are with him. Due to the age of the students involved and the ongoing police investigation, I am unable to make any additional comments."

The district wouldn't comment about the other student, but Rob O'Neill says he was told the boy was suspended for two days. Police haven't filed any charges in the ongoing investigation. Rob O'Neill says that's not enough, and he has advice for other parents when it comes to bullying.

"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," Rob O'Neill said.

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