Liam is your average student – he enjoys spending time with friends, loves to play soccer, and likes good food.
But his passion for soccer goes beyond the typical! He brings his soccer ball everywhere with him.
So you can imagine just how beyond overjoyed he was when he was able to make it into the soccer team at school!
Deirdre O’Brien, Liam’s mother, was very proud of his accomplishment. But then she began to notice that her son was changing.
Liam was no longer showing interest in a lot of the things he enjoyed. Her worries grew when he gave her his mobile phone one day and said he no longer wanted it.
Deirdre chalked up the seventh-grader’s behavior to incoming teenage hormones, so she figured he would ask for his phone back soon.
But Liam’s concerning behavior only became worse.
Soon, he stopped hopping on his bicycle to go off and hang out with friends. He stopped bringing his soccer ball around with him.
Liam even began to lose his appetite. He would barely eat during mealtimes, just moving the food around on his plate.
His weight dropped significantly, and his mom knew she couldn’t stay out of it anymore. She had to find out what was going on.
The only issue was that Liam had a tendency to be secretive, and she had to convince him to confide in her.
Then came a morning when Liam simply did not want to go to school at all.
Deirdre decided enough was enough. Gently, she sat him down and asked him to tell her what the issue was.
She practically begged to find out what was causing him to reject everything he once enjoyed, worrying that he was sick or worse.
Luckily, Liam was near his breaking point and wanted to share the truth with his mother.
Unable to stop himself from bursting into tears, he told his tearful mom that he was being severely bullied at school and that this had been going on for an entire year.
Deirdre was horrified to hear about something so awful happening to her son without her knowledge.
Apparently, there were boys at school who hurled insults at Liam.
They told him he wasn’t good at soccer and shouldn’t have been able to get onto the team, and they told him he sucked at a lot of things.
They would also engage in physical bullying, kicking and pushing him around. Worse still, some of these boys told Liam to kill himself.
Dierdre asked Liam how often those boys bothered and harassed him.
The response? Every single day.
Unfortunately, the mental pain had taken a toll on Liam’s physical health, and he was suffering from malnutrition.
He had to be taken to a hospital and attached to a heart monitor and a feeding tube.
He was diagnosed with an eating disorder and depression, both which he must go through intensive therapy to overcome.
Liam’s mom attempted to solve the bullying issue head-on. She confronted the bullies’ parents and spoke to the school, explaining what had happened.
But to her horror, neither party wished to take any responsibility. So Deirdre, broken-hearted, shared her story in a Facebook post.
She was just ranting, and was surprised when she found that her post had gone viral!
Now, the world is on Liam’s side and are all hoping for his recovery.