We really don’t need anyone to tell us that bullying is a serious problem. It can happen at any time in life but when we are children, it seems to be particularly difficult. After all, it’s hard enough to deal with the anguish of having somebody pick on you but when you are young, you just aren’t equipped to handle it in any way. Perhaps that is why one young child, Seven Bridges, took his own life. He was only 10 years old when his classmates in Kentucky were picking on him because of his stoma bag.
A stoma is an abdominal opening that connects to the urinary system or digestive tract. It allows waste to be taken from the body by being diverted through the hole and out into a special type of bag, known as a stoma bag. Unfortunately, many children who have to use a stoma bag are picked on as a result of it, and it can be a very difficult problem.
The National Center for Educational Statistics released a report in 2016. It showed that over 20% of students had already reported being bullied. It’s an issue that occurs in the playground and in the classroom.
Charlotte Anders is a 12-year-old girl who lives in Merseyside. She also has a colostomy bag and she heard about Seven and how he had committed suicide. She thought that it was a horrible tragedy and she wanted to do what she could to help keep other children from being bullied.
Even though she is only in seventh grade, she decided to go on social media and post pictures of herself posing with her colostomy bag. She used the hashtag “#bagsoutforseven” to stand up for the young man and what happened to him. That hashtag began on Instagram after Seven died in January. People are now posting portraits of themselves on social media showing their colostomy bags.
Charlotte may be young but she is a strong individual and wanted to take part in this anti-bullying campaign. She told her family: “This is nothing to be ashamed of, it’s saved my life.”
Since she was three years old, Charlotte had suffered from constipation and she ended up with a colostomy bag in May 2017. A decision was then made to remove her bowel because it wasn’t working properly. A stoma bag was attached to her ileum.
Charlotte was recovering but within a week, she woke up with pain and high temperature. It turns out she was in septic shock and she might not have been able to make it.
Her family and friends were there with her as she was taken down into surgery. They didn’t know if they would ever see her again. It took five hours of surgery but Charlotte was able to survive and she was back in critical care again.
Charlotte has been sharing pictures of herself with her stoma bag, helping others to have the courage to do so.
Charlotte’s mother Nikki Anders felt so proud of her daughter. She says, “She never gives up regardless of how ill she is.”
“Charlotte found it so sickening that somebody was exposed to so much torment that they felt that they would be better off dead. Her message is “bullying is never okay and ask me don’t talk about me, I will never be offended by a silly question. She saw the story online and was really upset that this poor boy decided to do that and saw the #bagsoutforseven campaign mostly done by adults posting pictures online and decided to take part.”, Nikki says about her daughter Charlotte.
She was leery of the decision Charlotte was making at first because many people didn’t even know about her situation. She still wanted to take part in it.
Charlotte is a very brave young girl. She also has a lot of optimism, despite the issues she has been through. Now people around the world are inspired by what she is doing and she is helping many to have a greater understanding of stoma bags and what they offer.
You can see more about stoma bags in this video:
Source: My Positive Outlooks