US schoolboy who attempted suicide after being bullied for liking 'My Little Pony' may have permanent brain damage

His parents say the 11-year-old child was allegedly taunted for being "gay"

A US schoolboy who tried to kill himself after he was bullied for liking My Little Pony had a tracheotomy on Tuesday to help him breathe.

The operation comes after doctors reported that the child may have suffered permanent brain damage.

11-year-old Michael Morones, from North Carolina, was allegedly taunted by his classmates for being a fan of the popular children's television programme, because they said it was “gay”.

He had tried to take his life in his room two weeks ago, cutting the oxygen supply to his brain, and has since been in a critical condition in hospital.

Doctors at the hospital say he could have suffered irreparable damage, and may be blind.

His mother, Tiffany Morones-Suttle, told the US ABC news network: “He's the kid that never walks. He dances everywhere. He's so full of energy. He's always on the move.”;

“We won't know for months how much he is going to heal,” said Ms Morones-Suttle. “It could even be years before we find out what potential for healing he has.”

She said he told her before the incident: “Mum, I’m tired of people being mean to me, I’m tired of people calling me gay, I’m tired of people telling me I’m ugly, that I’m stupid.”

His stepfather, Shannon Suttle, told Chicago Now: “He said to us that the other kids were telling him he was gay for loving Pinkie Pie [his favourite character] and they were trying to make him feel ashamed for being gay.

“We said that we didn’t care if he was gay or straight; he was our son and we would love him.”

Bullying prevention expert Nancy Mullin told ABC: “Eleven to 15-year-old boys are very much at risk for thinking about suicide when they're perceived as being gay.”

She praised Michael's parents for supporting his interests rather than reinforcing shameful feelings.

News of the child’s situation has quickly spread across the world, including to the makers of his favourite show.

After Michael’s step-father contacted Andrea Libman, the voice actor who plays Pinkie Pie, the whole cast has recorded a message of support for the 11-year-old.

Michael has also received support from the global “brony” community, consisting of men who like My Little Pony. The men have rallied together to help Michael’s family pay for his care. They have so far raised $48,000 (£29,426).

Above: an example of support for Michael from "bronies"

For confidential support call the Samaritans in the UK on 08457 90 90 90, visit a local Samaritans branch or click here for details.

News
Russell Brand was in typically combative form during his promotional interview with Newsnight's Evan Davis
peopleReports that Brand could stand for Mayor on an 'anti-politics' ticket
News
The clocks go forward an hour at 1am on Sunday 30 March
news
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor finds himself in a forest version of London in Doctor Who episode 'In the Forest of the Night'
TVReview: Is the Doctor ever going stop frowning? Apparently not.
News
Voluminous silk drawers were worn by Queen Victoria
newsThe silk underwear is part of a growing trade in celebrity smalls
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
footballMatch report: Real fight back to ruin Argentinian's debut
News
Candidates with surnames that start with an A have an electoral advantage
newsVoters are biased towards names with letters near start of alphabet
Arts and Entertainment
Isis with Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville)
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jay James
TVReview: Performances were stale and cheesier than a chunk of Blue Stilton left out for a month
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Maths Teacher

£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...

Business Analyst - Surrey - Permanent - Up to £50k DOE

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***ASP.NET Developer - Cheshire - £35k - Permanent***

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***Solutions Architect*** - Brighton - £40k - Permanent

£35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?