Courage Under Fire


While waking up early this morning, I tuned into GMA and watched the story of a courageous 16-year old boy who like most children across the country are on the verge of starting a brand new school year full of learning, friends, and new experiences.  Michael Brewer started out at a brand new school in which he will have to adjust following a horrific event that nearly turned tragic.

A day after his fifteen birthday in October 2009, Michael was attacked at his home by a group of his “friends”  after an argument over a $40 video game.  After being doused with rubbing alcohol and set ablaze, the teen climbed over a fence and jumped into a nearby swimming pool but not before suffering second and third degree burns over 60% of his body.

Following near death moments and multiple surgeries for skin grafts, Michael is now on the long road to physical and emotional recovery.  The GMA interview showed the teenager riding his skateboard nine months following the ordeal.  Doctors have stated that the young man stood a great chance of death from complications incurred by the event.  However, Michael’s amazing will and fortitude and the prayers and support of family, real friends, and complete strangers have carried him this far.

Like many traumatic events, perhaps the most difficult healing will be the psychological recovery. Michael suffers regular nightmares which he does not remember after they end. However. his mother hears his screams in the dead of night.  Showers are agonizingly painful for him to take… in fact, they are the hardest part of his recovery.

Michael’s 15 year old attackers are being charged as adults in the travesty in which they each face up to 30 years in prison.  Really… is $40.00 worth losing 30 years of your life?

Michael’s story will be a focus of ABC’s NightLine tonight.

Click Here for a more detailed account of the story and a somewhat graphic photo gallery.

4 thoughts on “Courage Under Fire”

  1. Bummer… couldn’t get the link to work. Michael’s strength is amazing, and no, of course $40 was not nearly worth that, is any amount of money? But many studies have shown that the human brain is not fully grown until early adulthood, so these boys obviously did not understand the full repercussions of their actions. I’m never a supporter of charging juveniles as adults, but for Michael’s family, it probably helps at least a little to know that their son won’t be subjected to these guys again so long as they’re put away. A tragic story all around for sure, but it could have had an even more tragic outcome if Michael’s strength had been any less.

  2. Thanks for fixing the link.
    WOW -can’t believe there was another brutal attack on a student mere months after Michael’s! Here’s to hoping that Josie recovers from her injuries as well.
    And a part of my comment should read: “human brain is not fully DEVELOPED until adulthood” – sorry, that was bad grammar on my part.

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