A teen from the northeastern Oregon town of La Grande has been taken off life support a week after he attempted to commit suicide by hanging himself from a play structure near a local elementary school.
At a candlelight vigil held last Wednesday for 15-year-old Jadin Bell, dozens of students from La Grande High School gathered to express their support for a kind-hearted kid who volunteered to help others and never forgot his friends.
But family friend Bud Hill, who considered Jadin his nephew, said that underneath his perpetual smile hid a boy being tormented on a daily basis by bullies for being gay.
Hill told KOMO News it was bullying — both online and off — that drove Jadin to hang himself in the Central Elementary School playground.
"He was different, and they tend to pick on the different ones," he said.
After a passer-by brought him down, Jadin he was rushed to Doernbecher Children's Hospital in Portland and put on life support. But after little brain activity was detected by doctors, Jadin's family made the decision over the weekend to remove the life support.
Despite the tragic circumstances, Jadin's family hopes some good will still come from their heartache.
"We always knew that Jadin is a special person," Jadin's mother Lola Lathrop told the La Grande Observer. "Now everyone knows."