Quaden Bayles is a 9-year-old boy born with achondroplasia, the most common form of dwarfism. His mother, Yarraka Bayles, picked him up from school one day and found him “in hysterics.” Her child was upset because his classmates had been ‘singling him out’. Unfortunately, due to his condition, the kid is often the subject of teasing in school and public places.
In the six-minute video shared by Mrs. Bayles on Facebook, Quaden can be seen crying uncontrollably. He also kept asking his mom for a knife so he could end his own life. Alarmingly, this isn’t the first time Quaden had suicidal tendencies. When he was just six years old, Mrs. Bayles caught him trying to harm himself.
These dark thoughts shouldn’t ever cross an innocent kid’s mind, yet, for this distressed boy, the pain from being taunted in school every day was too much to take.
“I’ve just picked my son up from school, witnessed a bullying episode, rang the principal, and I want people to know—parents, educators, teachers – this is the effect that bullying has,” Mrs. Bayles can be heard saying in the clip.
She posted the video online, hoping that it will raise awareness over the extreme effects of bullying. Quaden, who is an Aboriginal Australian, no longer attends that school. Mrs. Bayles is considering homeschooling him.
That horrible day in school could have been one of the worst days in this poor boy’s life. Fortunately, things are starting to get better for Quaden since the concerning video went viral. He and his mom had been receiving a tremendous amount of support from the community, the internet, and even celebrities.
Comedian Brad Williams, who was also born with achondroplasia, saw the video and felt compelled to help. He started a GoFundMe page to help send the kid to Disneyland in California. The campaign has exceeded its $10,000 goal and has raised over $467,000 at the time of writing. Williams said that the excess donations would go to anti-bullying and anti-abuse charities.
“This isn’t just for Quaden, this is for anyone who has been bullied in their lives and told they weren’t good enough. Let’s show Quaden and others, that there is good in the world and they are worthy of it,” Williams wrote on the fundraising site.
On Twitter, actor Hugh Jackman shared a video of himself assuring Quaden that he’s “got a friend” in him.
“Quaden, you are stronger than you know, mate,” Jackman said. “Everyone, let’s just please be kind to each other. Bullying is not OK, period.”
Parents from other countries also shared video messages from their children to Quaden.
On Saturday, Quaden took center stage as he led out an indigenous rugby league team in an exhibition game in Queensland against the New Zealand Maoris. Mrs. Bayles said that her son had always dreamt of becoming a rugby league star. Holding the hand of the captain Joel Thompson, Quaden led the team out on the pitch as cheers erupted from the crowd. The boy then posed with both sides holding the match ball before handing it to the referee.
Mrs. Bayles said that Quaden was “going from the worst day of his life to the best day of his life.”
Being singled out is one of the worst things that anyone can go through. No one should ever tolerate this behavior, and it is the responsibility of parents and adults to teach children to practice kindness everywhere they go.
Watch the video below to see Quaden proudly leading out the rugby team.
The amount of support that Quaden received during this challenging time is truly phenomenal! It just proves that there is still more good than bad in this world.