Phillies Will Host Family of Student Who Died After Beating

The Phillies have invited Bailey O'Neill's family to come watch his favorite team play

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Family Photo
    Bailey O'Neill was a sixth grader at Delaware Township School in Delaware County, Pa.

    The Philadelphia Phillies will pay tribute to Bailey O'Neill, a 12-year-old boy from Delaware County, Pennsylvania who died after being beaten at school.

    "The minute we heard he was buried in Ryan Howard's jersey, we said, 'We need to do something for this family,'" said Bonnie Clark, a spokeswoman for the team.

    Bailey died on March, 3, one day after his birthday, after his family removed him from life support. He'd been in a coma at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia after suffering seizures. His family believes those seizures were brought on by a school fight.

    On January 10, Bailey's family says he was attacked by another boy, who they've characterized as a bully. That boy is accused of punching Bailey in the face at Darby Township School, and hitting him hard enough to break his nose and give him a black eye. His father says Bailey also hit his head on the ground during the fight.

    "But even while Bailey was being attacked, he refused to resort to violence and never fought back," his father, Robert O'Neill said.

    The seizures began two weeks later and doctors put Bailey in a medically-induced coma, hoping he would recover.

    "I'm devastated that bullying cut my son's life short," Bailey's father said in a petition, asking the Phillies to dedicate a home game to his son. "Bailey's story can help inspire people to stop bullying in their communities."

    Clark says the Phillies reached out to Bailey's family even before the petition was started. As of today, it's been signed by more than 14,000 people. "We reached out to Bailey's grandfather during spring training. . .Right now we know that we're going to host Bailey's family during a home game on May 29, but we're still working out the details of how that will unfold."

    Bailey's father says in his petition that the Philadelphia Phillies were Bailey's favorite team.

    "I miss playing catch with him or just sitting on the couch together and watching a Philadelphia Phillies game. I won't hear him say 'Daddy' ever again and our family can't watch him grow up to achieve his dreams. It is a tragedy for us all to see such a beautiful life cut short," writes Robert O'Neill.

    Prosecutors are waiting on autopsy results to determine if Bailey's death was directly related to his injuries. Those results are expected in the next two weeks.