By his 11th birthday, Mitchell Wilson had already endured a lifetime of pain.
He was 8 when his mother died of cancer three years ago.
The next year he was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, a degenerative and incurable disease that was slowly destroying his muscles and would one day leave him paralyzed.
And last November, while on one of his prescribed daily walks, Mitchell was jumped by a 12-year-old boy he knew from his elementary school in Pickering. The older child, who was after the iPhone Mitchell borrowed from his father to listen to music while he walked, smashed Mitchell’s face into the pavement so hard he broke some of the boy’s teeth.
The attack, Mitchell’s parents say, led their son on a downward spiral that culminated in his suicide earlier this month.
“He was never the same after the mugging,” said Mitchell’s father, Craig Wilson, who found his son’s lifeless body on Sept. 6 — a plastic bag tied around the young boy’s head — when he went to wake him up for what would have been his first day of Grade 6.
- PHOTOS: What's Brewing in Steamy Hallows, the Harry Potter-Inspired Cafe19 Pictures
- PHOTOS: Frida Kahlo at the Brooklyn Museum doesn't hold back23 Pictures
The alleged mugger was arrested the day after the attack, charged with assault and removed from Westcreek Public School.
Wilson is hoping that by speaking to the media, visiting schools and telling Mitchell’s story he can prevent other kids from being bullied and educate people about what it’s like to live with a disability.
“Ultimately everybody has to be nicer to each other.”