Thursday, October 15, 2009

A Mother's Cry For Help

"We have got to stop this. We need to stop this now," cries Valerie Brewer, the mother of 15 year old burn victim, Michael Brewer from Broward County, Florida. 

This story is playing out all over the world. Violence has become a child's plaything. The United Nations World Study on Violence Against Children reports show that 60% of today's children have witnessed violence. It comes at the hands of a loved one, bullies or street violence. 

Doused with rubbing alcohol and set on fire, Michael was called a snitch for reporting to the police that his attackers attempted to steal his father's bike. The attackers? Five teenage boys, one is 13 years old and now the charges have gone from attempting to steal a bike to attempted murder. They could also be charged as adults. For most of us, this may make sense but despite the actions, the mindset is obviously still that of a child.

Barely alive with burns over 80% of his body, Michael struggles to hang on. Dr. Namias, the boy's doctor spoke from Jackson Memorial Hospital saying that Michael was not out of the woods because he had not yet entered the woods for doctors to see the other side. The road ahead was filled with fears of organ failure and infection for a boy who was doing the right thing. 

As parents and grandparents were at once horrified and sympathetic to the plight of this family. But as a people, we must listen and respond to Michael's mother. She is not asking for revenge, but for action. 

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