An 11-year-old Raleigh, North Carolina, boy who attempted suicide did so after he was bullied over his affection for the My Little Pony cartoon. Michael Morones is "the kid that never walks. He dances everywhere," his mom tells ABC 11. But on the evening of Jan. 23, overcome with the teasing, "he hung himself off the side of the bunk bed, off the railing," she says. His parents rushed him to the hospital, but because oxygen to his brain was cut off, he may suffer life-long brain damage. Chicago Now reports his brain, heart, and lungs were damaged.
And even now, the family is still being bullied; they say they've received negative comments online. But they don't want the kids who bullied Michael punished: "I don't think that's what Mike would want. I would rather teach people how to do right," says his mom. Stepdad Shannon Suttle adds that the cartoon itself is all about friendship, and says, "It teaches the most basic moral values." But there have been acts of kindness: Suttle called the actress who voices Michael's favorite character, Pinkie Pie, requesting that she record a message for him. She did, and got the entire cast to do the same. "When we play the My Little Pony messages for him, there is increased activity on the EEG," Suttle says. Money is being raised online (some Pony-related sites are helping out), and the family plans to start an anti-bullying nonprofit. (Read more suicide attempt stories.)