Teenager Liam has always loved soccer, hanging out with his friends, riding his bike and doing all the other things that a typical seventh grader enjoys.
That all seemed to change one day, when he gave his cell phone to his mom, Deirdre Fell-O’Brien, telling her he didn’t need it anymore. She was naturally puzzled, but put it down to teenage hormones – she assumed he’d come around in due time.
Little did she know that this was a precursor to her son steadily losing interest in all the things he had once liked. He became a shadow of his former self, with things getting to the point where he even stopped eating food.
Finally, Deidre decided that something had to be wrong in Liam’s life. She begged and begged her son to tell her what it was. When he did, she could scarcely believe it.
Seriously! How handsome is my Liam! Future star!
Posted by Deirdre Fell- O’brien on Friday, 17 August 2012
Liam had always been passionate about soccer. He carried a ball with him wherever he went, and was thrilled to learn that he had made the school team after try-outs.
As one can imagine, it was painfully heartbreaking for Deirdre, who has four other children, to watch as he lost interest in everything. What’s more, his appetite appeared to disappear; Liam got thinner and thinner, as she explained to The Well. Deirdre knew she had little choice but to get to the bottom of it all.
She sat her son down and begged him to tell her what was wrong.
I want to send out a Thank You to the World for all the support for my son Liam! #weststandwithliamI know he will be back better than ever!
Posted by Deirdre Fell- O’brien on Wednesday, 25 October 2017
It transpired that for the last year Liam had been bullied by a group of so-called “friends” who had decided that he “sucked.” Her sweet son was forced to endure name calling, horrible language, being pushed and kicked, and even being told that he should kill himself.
The bullying got so bad that Liam had developed an eating disorder. He and his mom cried over his desperate situation, and together tried to confront the school about the issue. Nothing was done.
It got so bad that one day Liam came home with a bruised face. Still, the school wouldn’t investigate the matter.
Deidre felt helpless.
In the end, things escalated to the point where Liam had to be hospitalized and put on a feeding tube. His eating disorder meant that he needed medical help.
So his brave and strong mom decided to take matters into her own hands and share their story on social media. The response was magnificent! People from all over the world shared the post and commented with their own, similar experiences of bullying.
Using the hash tag #WeStandWithLiam, thousands of people showed their support for the struggling boy.
Liam underwent intense therapy for depression and the eating disorder. His treatment was tough, but after 10 long weeks, Liam was finally in a stable enough position to come home.
This very brave boy also did something amazing: he returned to school and joined the soccer team again, finishing the soccer season in style.
Deirdre and the family are hugely proud of their son, who was brave enough to open up about his suffering, get through the necessary treatment and return to the school to face his cowardly bullies!
Unfortunately, Liam is not alone; there are too many children being bullied at school. So many of them suffer in silence, unable to get the support they need and deserve. We must strive to hold these bullies accountable.
Share this article to show your support for brave Liam!