By Crystal Bonvillian, Cox Media Group National Content Desk
An Ohio 11-year-old who survived brain cancer as a toddler killed herself after what her parents described as relentless bullying by other students.
Bethany Thompson died Oct. 19 after a particularly bad day at school, according to the Springfield News-Sun. On the bus ride to her home in Cable, Ohio, she told a friend she wanted to die.
“She told her she loved her and that she was her best friend forever, but that she was going to kill herself when she got home,” Bethany’s mother, Wendy Feucht told local media.
The Washington Post reported that the friend’s father called Feucht when his daughter told him what Bethany had said, but it was too late. Bethany had already found a loaded handgun on a shelf in her home, went out to her back porch and fatally shot herself.
Feucht said that her daughter went through a lot of bullying because of her “crooked” smile. Doctors were able to successfully remove a tumor from Bethany’s brain when she was just 3 years old, but the surgery left her with nerve damage.
Bethany’s mother said the middle-schooler’s friend told her that a group of classmates had picked on her “relentlessly” the day she died.
Bethany’s father, Paul Thompson, told WHIO that his daughter always seemed happy when she spent time with him.
“I was never aware of the extent of it,” Thompson said.
Bethany’s obituary describes her as enjoying swimming, coloring, shopping, music, superheroes and Pokemon.
“Every year, she looked forward to attending vacation Bible school and church camp. She loved all animals, horseback riding and her family,” it read.
Friends of the family have held multiple fundraisers to help pay for Bethany’s funeral and burial, as well as anti-bullying awareness.