Bullied boy has ‘best day of his life’ as he leads out all-star rugby team
Quaden Bayles went from wanting to die to having “the best day of his life.”
The Australian boy who went viral over the heartbreaking video of him being left suicidal by bullies got to live out his dream this weekend, walking out his favorite rugby team to thunderous applause.
Wearing noise-canceling headphones, the 9-year-old with dwarfism walked out with Australia’s Indigenous All Stars team on Saturday, holding the match ball in one hand and clutching captain Joel Thompson’s hand with the other, before getting a pitchside view of the game.
It took him “from the worst day of his life to the best day of his life,” his mom, Yarraka Bayles, said of her hero’s welcome.
Bayles touched hearts around the world when his mother posted a heartbreaking video of how devastated he had been left by constant bullying, sobbing, “Give me a knife, I want to kill myself.”
It left to an outpouring of support — including from Wolverine star Hugh Jackman — as well as the offer from the Indigenous All Stars, posted in a video aimed at the youngster, who is Aboriginal Australian.
“We’ve got your back and just want to make sure that you are doing alright … we want you around, we want you to lead us out on the weekend,” fullback Rabbitoh Latrell Mitchell had said.
It was not all good news for the team, however, losing to the Maori All-Stars, 30-16.
His mom had posted the video to raise awareness of how damaging bullying can be — having no idea it would soon make her son a star.
“We could never have dreamt in our wildest dreams that it would’ve gone worldwide and created such a media frenzy,” she told reporters.
“It’s every parent’s worst nightmare losing their babies and for me that’s my reality every day.
“That’s what I have to prepare for, the worst, because everything he is going through with his medical condition, the suicide attempts are very real and people don’t understand that.
“There are way too many people suffering in silence and my heart goes out to those families that have already lost their children to bullying.
“It’s been way too many and it’s something that needs to be addressed, it’s an international crisis and it demands urgent attention.”
With Post wires
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