The mum of a bullied schoolboy filmed saying he wanted to die has enjoyed the “best day of his life” after an astonishing worldwide reaction.
Nine-year-old Quaden Bayles, who has dwarfism, was the target of cruel jibes and heartbreaking footage of him crying hysterically was widely shared onlne after his mum posted it on Facebook.
Since then he’s been inundated with messages of support, including one from Hollywood actor and fellow Australian Hugh Jackman, and a fund to send Quaden to Disneyland has raised more than £150,000.
His mum Yarraka Bayle said he was overwhelmed by the goodwill shown.
She told 7News: “He said it was going from the worst day of his life to the best day of his life. I think that sums it up perfectly.”
After learning about Quaden’s ordeal, Australian actor Jackman said in a video posted on Twitter: “Quaden, you are stronger than you know mate, and no matter what, you’ve got a friend in me.
“So, everyone lets please be kind to each other – bullying is not OK.”
The X-Men star then urged bullies to be kinder, saying: “Life is hard enough, so let’s remember, every person in front of us is facing some kind of battle, so let’s just be kind.”
Brad Williams, who set up a GoFundMe page to raise cash for the schoolboy, described him as “a wonderful human being who deserves joy”.
He said he wants to fly Quaden and his mum to the US, get them a nice hotel, and bring them to Disneyland.
His appeal stated: “Let’s show Quaden and others, that there is good in the world and they are worthy of it.”
Donations have flooded in from around the world.
The emotional clip which sparked the appeal showed Quaden in tears as he make comments including ‘what’s the point’ and ‘I just want to die right now’.
Yarraka, from Brisbane, says: “I’ve just picked up my son from school, witnessed a bullying episode, rang the principal and I want people to know – parents, educators, teachers – this is the effects that bullying has.
“This is what bullying does, so can you please educate your children, your families, your friends.
“This is the impact bullying has on a nine-year-old kid that just wants to go to school, get an education and have fun but every single freaking day, something happens.
“Another episode, another bullying, another taunt, another name calling.”
As her son pulls at his neck, Yarraka breaks down herself, saying: “I want people to know how much it is hurting us as a family. I want people to educate their children.”
Quade buries his head in the car seat and Yarraka explains that this reality is the side she usually chooses to keep private but ‘we can’t do it anymore’.
She says the bullying has driven her child to suicide attempts after people point out his differences in public wherever they go.
The parent adds that the constant battle makes her feel as though she is ‘failing as a parent’.
“It’s every single f***ing day and we’re sick of it,” she says.
“Your child could be the bully that pushes a kid over the edge and, God forbid, we lose another child to suicide because of the bullying.
“I used to tell him ‘just ignore it’. Well no, f***ing ignoring it doesn’t solve the problem, how does that address the problem if you choose to ignore it? It needs to be addressed straight away and that’s exactly what I’m doing now.”
The video was posted to Facebook with the caption: “This is the serious impacts of bullying! I seriously don’t know what else to do.”
* Samaritans (116 123) operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at firstname.lastname@example.org