£78,000 Raised For Boy Who Lost A Finger While Fleeing ‘Racist’ Bullies
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Well wishers have now raised £78,000 after hearing the news of an 11-year-old boy who suffered life changing injuries as a result of an alleged attack by bullies at school.
Raheem Bailey had to have his finger amputated after running away from school following an attack by alleged bullies. Despite attending hospital, doctors weren't able to save the finger on his right hand after he caught it on railings while trying to run away from an alleged attack at break time.
Since the attack happened, Raheem's mother Shantal has revealed they have received more than £70,000 after setting up a GoFundMe page with a £10,000 target for a personalised prosthetic finger and any other costs towards Raheem's recovery.
Wellwishers quickly donated and the target was exceeded in a matter of hours.
Now Shantal has opened up about the devastating effects of the attack and how traumatised her son is. She has revealed how Raheem has heartbreakingly asked why it had happened to him and why people didn't like him.
His mum claims he has faced racial and physical abuse since starting at Abertillery Learning Community in Abertillery, Gwent, in September 2021. However, she didn't realise how bad it had become until he phoned her crying from school one day.
Speaking to Wales Online, Shantal, from Abertillery, said: "He had mentioned a few incidents of people being 'mean to him' recently, I did not realise the extent of what he was going through until an incident this week.
"On Monday, Raheem called me in tears whilst I was at work, saying that he’s being bullied but that he was the one who was threatened with detention despite him being the one that’s getting picked on."
Worried Shantal says she went to the school to discuss what had happened and was 'reassured that everything would be handled'. However, the next day things took a turn for the worse when she received another call from Raheem who was
'screaming in pain'.
Shantal claims: "On Tuesday morning break time, Raheem was attacked and beaten by a group of children whilst in school. He was pushed to the ground and then repeatedly kicked.
"He made a desperate attempt to leave the school grounds in order to escape the situation but caught his finger. I received a phone call from Raheem and then the school informing me of the incident.
"The school told me that the ambulance wouldn’t arrive for two hours, but advised me not to drive Raheem to A&E myself. Raheem, his baby brother and I were taken to a minor injuries unit by the school bus, despite them knowing that his injury was severe.
"We spent the next five hours waiting for an ambulance to transfer us to the location where he would undergo surgery, in Swansea, 50 miles away from his home and school.
"As time rolled on, it became more apparent that the possibility my son was going to lose his finger was a real one. The doctors then confirmed this was likely. I had to explain this to him while he sat there in agony."
After six hours of surgery to try and save his finger, medics made the decision that the digit could not be saved. As a result, Raheem would lose his finger.
Shantal said: "He is back home and in a lot of pain. I think he is still suffering from shock because he keeps asking why it has happened to him and asking why people don't like him.
"We have still not seen his hand because it is all bandaged up, but it is going to take some time for him to get used to it. I am extremely upset because from the day of the incident until now, the school has not reached out to me to check on his well-being."
A spokesperson for Abertillery Learning Community said: “We are currently working closely with Gwent Police and the Local Authority to establish the full details of the incident.
"The well-being and safety of our pupils and staff remains of paramount importance. We will not be commenting further at this time.”
Gwent Police confirmed officers were investigating the incident, after receiving a report following the alleged attack.
The Welsh Government have also issued a statement in response to the incident, stating: "We condemn bullying and racial harassment in any form and expect allegations and incidents of bullying and racism to be fully investigated by schools with appropriate action taken to address the matter and prevent further instances from happening."
Featured Image Credit: WalesOnline/Rob Browne
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