In an effort to stop bullying behavior before it reaches adulthood, assault victim and San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow told Sunnyvale and Columbia middle school students about how he recovered from a brutal beating by two men after a 2011 Dodgers-Giants baseball game in Los Angeles left him in a coma for months.
Students silently watched pictures and critical video footage of Stow fighting for his life in the hospital after the senseless assault. They witnessed firsthand the effects of physical bullying. He shared with students the painful struggles of recovering from a severe brain injury, coping and adjusting to the loss of his old life, and finding his new mission in life after the brutal attack that almost killed him.
After four years, five hospitalizations, numerous surgeries and countless hours of outpatient therapy, he is able to live at home with his family. He still requires caregivers during the day to help with his mobility and rehab needs but continues to make progress in his recovery. Stow shared his progress with Sunnyvale Middle School students by standing up and walking around the Spartan gym with the help of his sister. A rumble erupted in the gym as students clapped and stomped their feet to show their support as he walked back and forth.
During his January presentations, audience members of all ages learned aspects of living a bully-free life. They also learned techniques for empowering a path of kindness in those with bullying tendencies. Bryan closed his presentations with a heartfelt audience pledge to stop bullies, to stop personal bullying behavior, and to seek kindness and respect for others.
Article by Sunnyvale School District Communications Coordinator Alia Wilson and Health and Wellness Program Liaison Pam Murdock.