Video: ‘Violence has to stop,’ mom says

  1. Closed captioning of: ‘Violence has to stop,’ mom says

    >> lauderdale.

    >> michael brewer's mother, valerie , is with us along with his doctor, nicholas nemias. they're at jacksonville hospital in miami. good morning to both of you.

    >> good morning.

    >> good morning.

    >> valerie , if i could start with you, how is your son michael doing this morning?

    >> i'm sure he's doing fine. i haven't had an opportunity to see him yet this morning, but i know he's in very good hands and they're taking very good care of my son.

    >> is he able to speak with you at all?

    >> not so much speak. he's incubated, but he does once in a while sit up in bed and point to the tubes to his throat and mouthing "take them out." he makes motions with his hands that he wants a drink of water. he's very strong, and i know he's going to pull through this. it's going to be a long struggle, but he's going to make it through this.

    >> how are you dealing with all of this as a mom? this has to be a nightmare for you.

    >> it's a complete nightmare. however, i do have a wonderful support system, my family and my friends and the prayers from everybody around the world, the support system here at the hospital. they make sure that i eat and if i need to take a nap, they make me take a nap, because i won't leave his bedside unless they make me leave.

    >> dr. nemias, how would you describe michael 's condition at this point, and what is he up against in the next few days?

    >> he's in the condition you'd expect somebody with such a large burn to be in, and that is, things could be going a whole lot worse than they are. yesterday, i was quoted as saying he wasn't out of the woods yet, but they missed the part about where, i honestly don't think we're in the woods yet. we still have to get in the woods before we get to come out the other side. so, it's really a long process.

    >> so, things could get worse is what you're suggesting, as in infection, possibly, or organ failure ?

    >> all of those things, exactly.

    >> let me ask you, valerie , the boys that are accused of doing this to your son, from what we understand, they are classmates of his. i find probably the most upsetting thing about this, the fact that they are his age. one is even younger, just 13. do you know these boys? and what would you like to say to them or about them?

    >> i do know them but i really don't want to discuss it. it's too heart-wrenching. i can't even think about it, but what i would like to say is that this violence has got to stop. people around the world have got to do something. violence, shooting each other in schools or stabbing each other, what they did to my son. we have got to stop this. we need to stop it now. our children are our future. we have got to get a hold of this, please. everybody in this world, please do what you can to work with your neighbors and help our children. we have to do something now to make it stop.

    >> valerie , the fact that michael didn't go to school on monday, did he express to you any fear he had of any of those boys retaliating against him because one of them had allegedly stolen his dad's -- michael 's dad's bike?

    >> he was petrified to go to school that day. i called the administrators and the resource officer at the school and expressed that michael was terrified and he didn't want to come to school that day. we set up an appointment for the resource officer the next morning for him to go talk to her about a game plan about what he could do in school so he could be safe. and it was too late.

    >> i want to thank you both for joining us this morning at such a difficult time. valerie , know that our thoughts are with your son michael and with your family, as well. and dr. nemias, thank you for your time as well.

    >> thank you.

    >> thank you.

    >> and matt, we recorded that

updated 10/15/2009 8:55:14 AM ET 2009-10-15T12:55:14

The mother of a 15-year-old doused with rubbing alcohol and set on fire called the attack a nightmare on Thursday, but said her son was strong and would pull through despite the burns over much of his body.

Valerie Brewer told NBC's "Today" show and ABC's "Good Morning America" that her son, Michael Brewer, couldn't talk but was communicating with her by motioning with his hands.

"It's a complete nightmare," she said.

Michael Brewer was attacked at a Deerfield Beach apartment complex in South Florida on Monday after turning in another teen for trying to steal his father's bicycle, authorities said.

The teen was expected to remain hospitalized for several months and is at extremely high risk of infection and organ failure, but he is doing as well as can be expected, his doctor said. Valerie Brewer praised the staff at Jackson Memorial Ryder Trauma Center.

Video: Boys charged for setting teen on fire Dr. Nicholas Namias said the teen suffered burns on his torso and arms and most of his hair, but his face was not badly burned.

Brewer's troubles started when one of the teens gave him a video game and expected $40, said Broward County Sheriff's Office spokesman Jim Leljedal. Brewer never paid for the game, which authorities would not identify, so the other teen tried to steal a $500 custom bike that belonged to Brewer's father, Leljedal said.

Brewer refused to attend classes at his middle school Monday. His mother said he was "petrified" of going to school, and the teen instead went to an apartment complex to visit a friend. He told deputies that while he was sitting by the swimming pool, he was splashed with rubbing alcohol and set ablaze.

Five teenagers — 15-year-olds Matthew Bent, Denver Jarvis, Steven Shelton and Jesus Mendez and 13-year-old Jeremy Jarvis — were charged with aggravated battery in the attack. Mendez also was charged with attempted second-degree murder because authorities say he flicked the lighter.

Valerie Brewer said she knew the teens, but would not say more because it was "too heart wrenching" to talk about. She asked viewers to help stop childhood violence around the world.

"What they did to my son...we need to stop this now."

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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