Bullied at school for his dwarfism, 9-year-old Quaden Bayles sobs uncontrollably in the back of his mother’s car — saying to the camera: “Give me a knife, I want to kill myself.”
His mother, Yarraka Bayles, from the Australian state of Queensland, posted the heartbreaking Facebook Live video this week to raise awareness of the impact of bullying. In the video, she said her son had previously attempted suicide.
“This is what bullying does,” she said in the video. “Can you please educate your children, your families, your friends?”
Yet what began as a plea has quickly become a movement. The video has been viewed 16 million times since it was posted on Tuesday, with Bayles receiving a massive outpouring of support from around the world, according to CNN affiliate Seven News.
Among them is Australian actor Hugh Jackman, who posted a video message to Twitter telling Bayles: “No matter what, you’ve got a friend in me.”
“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.”
— Hugh Jackman (@RealHughJackman) February 20, 2020
A Go-Fund Me page set up by US comedian Brad Williams has raised almost $170,000 — and he’s using the money to send Bayles and his mother to Disneyland in California.
“This isn’t just for Quaden, this is for anyone who has been bullied in their lives and told they weren’t good enough,” Williams said on the fundraising page. “Let’s show Quaden and others that there is good in the world and they are worthy of it.”
Bayles, who was born with a condition called achondroplasia dwarfism, is the face of Stand Tall 4 Dwarfism, a charity set up by his mother to raise awareness and stop bullying, according to Seven News.
He has reportedly undergone multiple operations and has been bulled in the past.
Williams, who also lives with achondroplasia, said on Twitter that he was “speechless” with the amount of donations received, which included air tickets for Bayles and his mom to go to Disneyland.
Bayles also has the support of the National Rugby League’s Indigenous All-Stars team. The youngster will lead the team out before Saturday’s NRL pre-season match against the Maori All-Stars in Queensland’s Gold Coast,
“Just want to wish you all the best brother. We know you’re going through a hard time right now but the boys are here, we’ve got your back. We’re here to support you, bud,” Indigenous All-Stars fullback Latrell Mitchell said.