Home > Attempted Murder, Murder > What The Hell Is Wrong With Our Youth Today??????

What The Hell Is Wrong With Our Youth Today??????

November 3, 2009

MICHAEL BREWERMiami, Florida (CNN) — He lies in a bed on a balloon-type mattress, to reduce pressure on his burned body. He is covered with bandages; a ventilator breathes for Michael Brewer because he can’t do it for himself.

He’s hooked up to the marvels of modern medicine that are trying to give the 15-year-old burn victim a chance to be a kid once again.

Sixty-five percent of his body is covered with second- and third-degree burns.

“People are writing horror stories … but people just can’t imagine the kind of sickness we’re talking about,” said Dr. Nicholas Namias, medical director of the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital Burn Center in Miami.

“I’ve been to movies like everyone else, and Hollywood hasn’t even thought of something like this,” Namias said.

Brewer is heavily sedated, and the ventilator does not allow him to speak. His open wounds are covered by bandages, which are changed daily. It’s a four-hour process.

He has not been able to speak with police since his desperate fight for life began October 12, when police say five teenage friends, including a 13-year-old, doused Brewer with rubbing alcohol and set him on fire.

The attack occurred after Brewer reported to police that one of the youths had stolen his father’s bicycle. Police say the bicycle was stolen because Brewer did not pay one of the boys $40 for a video game.

According to police, witnesses said the teens called Brewer “a snitch” as they used a lighter to set him ablaze.

Namias explained how Brewer’s organs are not functioning the way they should be, but that is expected at this early stage of recovery.

“He’s still on the ventilator and advanced modes of mechanical ventilation. We are breathing for him. His contribution to the breathing is trivial,” Namias said.

Namias also explained that in burn cases, words must be chosen carefully when talking about patients and their condition because so much is at risk and so much can change quickly.

“When you say he’s doing OK, in this situation it means he’s alive and responding to treatments,” Namias said. “We’re still dealing with the respiratory failure. We’re dealing with infection now and the need to supply the massive amount of nutrition that this person needs to survive.”

On Monday, the five teens who are accused of taking part in the attack appeared separately before judges in Broward County, Florida.

State prosecutors were granted additional time to build their case. Formal charges are expected later this month. For now, all five teens are being held in custody.

Four of the boys, all 15 years old, could be charged as adults. The 13-year-old also could be charged as an adult but under Florida law only if Brewer dies.

Michael Brewer’s parents, Valerie and Michael Brewer Sr., issued a written statement through the hospital last week. They are not granting interviews.

“The recovery process will be baby steps, but eventually he will be whole again,” they wrote.

But their son’s injuries enter the realm of medicine and science that has no guarantee.

“There’s no evolutionary mechanism to survive a 65 percent burn,” Namias said.

“Surviving is a miracle of modern medicine and about the technology and the things we do. This is not like a gunshot and you come out of the [operating room], and say everything’s going to be OK,” he added.

“We never give up, and we never predict it. … Our expectation is survival.”

Across the hospital floor in the burn unit at Jackson Memorial Hospital, six other people’s lives also are at stake: all victims of various accidents, all with burns similar to Michael Brewer’s. They, too, are trying to regain at least a part of what they used to have.

“It’s understandable that people can be burned in accidents,” Namias said.

“But this was no accident. This didn’t have to happen at all.”


Please keep Michael and his family in your thoughts and prayers.

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  1. Maryann Delzatto
    March 6, 2010 at 10:00 PM

    I am so happy at how far Michael has come in his recovery. Since the day that this happened I have been following it and praying every night for Michael’s recovery. There are lots of us pulling for you, Michael, stay strong and keep that beautiful smile. I continue to pray for you and mom and dad.

  2. helen piechotta
    May 29, 2010 at 1:15 PM

    There is no doubt that our culture has changed, and will continue to do so as long as there are films, games and expressions of violence. It started when “shock value” was introduced into films, movies against a moral society, harsh “revenge” against enemies, etc. To add to the shock value, movies became louder, filthy language was used, especially in anger, usually towards a woman. Young people absorb all of this and, wanting to be accepted by their peers, will experiment with it. Hollywood has glamorized the use of drugs, the body as a sex object, masochism, torture, you name it. Because this culture continues to erode young minds, any older adult is ridiculed for their use of “proper” language and “good moral attitudes”. I am no longer shocked by the horrible language bloggers are using to hurt and degrade each other. I truly don’t think this generation will do well as they reach maturity, it is obvious that many of the young people today (not all) prefer to make money the easy way, by living off of others, mothers, friends, government, you name it. This change in culture has eroded every income level, no household is immune; when young people get together, whether in high school or college, they think it is “cool” to be bad and, somehow, the young girls gravitate towards that type of individual, how unfortunate since children, being raised in that environment do not do well mentally or physically, thus “dependence on the government” which is already strained as it attempts to bail out the world. Something is wrong when our values are deteriorating at such a rapid rate, young people and some well into their late 40’s seem to have the attitude that life means fun, fun, fun.at any cost. Because of this moral decay, it is no longer safe to merely take a stroll in a park (many of them are closing due to financial problems) take your kids to a playground, have a peaceful Sunday with the family, for a treat eating outdoors…no, that is too old fashioned besides, the neighbor’s son next door usually has a motorcycle or three wheeler, whatever you call it, and even the birds are scared away. Technology, although formerly used for business. has caused people to live life, either on a computer or a cell phone. Grandma only sees her grandchildren on line, since the son or daughter lives miles away. It has all changed, the slow easy gentle lifestyle has been replaced by nervous anxious and fast talking individuals who have speeded up their lives to such a degree, that, many times, they depend on drugs to keep them going. The greed for speed has turned this country upside down, look at how much anger and hostility is being spewed around at the smallest remark. People are not happy and how can they be when “money” is their God and God is forgotten or being forced out of our schools. Religion is being forgotten for some and without religion, there is moral decay. Cruelty towards animals is rampant as is cruelty towards each other, children growing up in this culture will never mature into normal adults. I fear for the future, as man’s greed has caused a disaster so devastating that it has torn a “hole” in the ocean floor, not unlike a volcano, only not spewing ash but something more deadly….oil, oil that will kill every living thing in the ocean, life as we have known it will surely disappear. We have taught our children how to love money, not nature, not each other but..money, thus the rush to further financial gain. BP is not the only culprit, this is happening all over the world. When will it stop?..When it can go on no longer. We must raise our children with love, forget the big house, the fancy car, the latest modern clothing, children want love, they will play in a cardboard box, if there is love. Don’t argue in front of your children, avoid stress, be careful how you spend your money, children are quick to pick up on these things. Let them love nature, not money and, if the schools are not doing their job, teach them values at home or, if you can afford it, seek out alternative learning, remember if the schools are corrupt, the children will follow. Teachers who are not aware, or simply do not care, about what is going on with their students, shouldn’t be teaching. You have to monitor what is going on at your child’s school or they will wind up like that poor unfortunate child who, not matter what the argument, did not deserve such a horrible outcome. I hope it is not too late for our young people, although, when I view what is on television, I am not optimistic about our childrens’ futures…and eventually…ours!! Helen Piechotta

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