By Allie Baddley
Did you ever think a child’s passion for a television show would result in a life-or-death situation? If not, think again because on Jan. 23, 2014, 10-year-old Michael Morones attempted to take his life after enduring constant bullying from his classmates.
Tiffany Morones-Suttle, the boy’s mother, noticed her son had been irritable all night. When he asked for a pencil sharpener and pair of scissors, his mother knew something was wrong. Shortly after 8:00 p.m., Morones-Suttle went to check on her son only to find that he had hung himself from the rail of his top bunk.
Morones, an avid lover of the television show “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic,” is now fighting for his life. He is unable to breathe on his own and remains unconscious. If he does wake up, doctors have predicted that he will be blind.
But that is just speculation as nobody is sure what condition Michael Morones will be in if he does wake up. Doctors and professionals know that he will have suffered severe brain damage, but the extent of the damage is unknown.
Shannon Suttle, Michael’s stepfather, explains in an interview with Everfree Network that Michael is “just not the type of kid who’d let people know he was being bullied.”
After several months of bullying at school, he eventually started to open up to his parents. They were supportive of everything their son enjoyed and encouraged him to be true to his interests. They continuously told him that nobody else’s opinion matters.
But due to the constant bullying, this concept was hard for Michael to grasp.
According to Gaither Terrell, Director of Counseling at Guilford College, this is one of the side effects of bullying.
“Bullying can certainly be at a level that leads to traumatic stress,” said Terrell. “Traumatic stress can lead to depression, anxiety, negative acting out, academic failure, and violent outbursts. It can also lead to intolerable self-hate combined with depression, and even to suicide, which in such cases I’ve heard called ‘bullicide’. It’s tragic.”
In light of the tragedy, the Brony community has come together to help support Morones. Eileen Montgomery, who considers herself a Brony, created an online fundraiser for the child.
My Little Pony fans from all over the world have come together by making donations towards his recovery. Others offered nonmonetary gifts by sharing their written condolences with the young boy.
Guilford student Anthony Rea identifies himself as a Brony. He likes My Little Pony because it is “lighthearted and fun yet the characters actually do have some pretty solid character development.”
”I like that there is actual conflict in the show and that characters are required to actually resolve conflict,” said Rea.
Morones enjoyed the show because, as Suttle explained, he connected to Pinky Pie who always “bounces around energetically and full of movement.”
“Michael associated with that one character because it was like watching himself,” said Suttle. “But it was watching himself around other people who accepted and appreciated the personality he had.”
While Morones’s classmates didn’t echo this acceptance, the Brony Community remains right by the boy’s side. As he progresses in his recovery, the Bronies are likely to support him every step of the way.