Seven was found hanging in his closet by his mother, Tami Charles, who had just returned from shopping when she made the soul-wrecking discovery. His dad, Donnie Bridges was attending church choir practice when the incident occurred.
“Seven, he was a great little kid,” Donnie said in remembrance of his son. “He knows the Lord, he goes to church, he knows right from wrong. He knows respect and disrespect, so for him to keep his mind right, we prayed. I asked him to pray for us. I prayed for him. Drop him off at school. ‘Daddy I love you’… I tell him [to] stay focused, stay strong, stay on your game, don’t let anybody take you out of it.”
Sadly, the pressure and constant abuse at the hand of his classmates simply became too much for little Seven to take.
The couple shared that their innocent son had been bullied relentlessly by peers at Kerrick Elementary School over a serious bowel condition that forced him to wear a colostomy bag. The 10-year-old was born with a bowel disease that forced him to undergo 26 surgeries in his young life.
Due to the bag’s unsightliness and odor, he was name-called, choked, and degraded with racial slurs.
Seven’s parents are completely heartbroken, and his poor mother can’t erase the memory of finding her lifeless baby hanging in the closet.
“I saw my son dead,” she told WHAS-TV. That’s something in my head.”
According to Tami, many complaints about the bullying were filed with the school, but they were readily dismissed. She now plans to take action against the school’s negligence by suing the Jefferson County Public Schools for “failing her baby.”
Tami says Seven was her “miracle baby” after she was informed by doctors that she was unable to have kids.
But while her heart is crushed over the loss of her son, her spirit remains strong and rooted in God’s promises.
“His teachers told us, he’s the only student that went from kindergarten to [fifth] grade and never got in trouble,” Tami shared in an interview after Seven’s passing. “And that’s important because normally our black and brown boys are already marginalized to be labeled ‘behavior disorder,’ ‘bad children,’ but they could never find that for our son. That’s why I’m so inspired. We have such a model child to hold up and to champion for children and adults that have been bullied and then to send out notice to the bullies.”
Posted by Johnathan Johnson on Monday, January 21, 2019
“Our son took his life so that other people could live, could live normally as children, as citizens, as a community,” she continued. “So when I reflect on when God told me and I asked him ‘Why my son?’ and God said to me ‘I gave you my son,’ I can stand here with little tears and little sadness, no stigma about how our son went to God. He knew God and he knew there was nothing that could separate him from God. So I don’t like how he went, and it hurts, leaves us a hole, but why he went will be remembered forever. He will be remembered as Seven Strong.”
If you or someone you know is thinking about harming yourself/themselves or attempting suicide, reach out to someone who can help right away. Call the toll-free, 24-hour hotline of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK to be connected to a trained counselor at a suicide crisis center nearest you.