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article imageBoy set on fire by classmates showing progress, mom speaks out

By Kay Mathews     Oct 29, 2009 in Crime
Florida boy set ablaze by 5 classmates remains in a burn center and has received the first of many surgeries to repair his skin. Brewer is sedated, and doctors say "nothing bad has happened." Five middle-school classmates in juvenile detention facility.
Michael Brewer, 15, is showing progress according to his doctors. Last week, Brewer received the first of many surgeries to repair his skin. Doctors at the burn center, jointly run by the University of Miami and Jackson Memorial Hospital, cut away damaged sections of his skin and replaced them with skin from cadavers.
According to the Miami Herald, Dr. Nicholas Namias, director of the University of Miami-Jackson Memorial Burn Center, said:
This is going as well as it could be hoped to go. Nothing bad has happened, and in our world that's good. Brewer remains sedated and can respond by squeezing a hand or twitching his eye.
As seen in the video, Dr. Namias warns, however, that infections and organ failure are commonly associated with major burns.
Valerie Brewer spoke in the video about the pain and horror surrounding what happended to her son. She is concerned about youth violence, and said, "We have got to make this violence stop today."
Brewer has a breathing tube in his mouth and a feeding tube in his nose, reports the Miami Herald. And, he "rests on a specially designed bed similar to an air mattress. It allows doctors to relieve any pressure on his body to avoid sores and lets in air to help evaporate fluids."
Doctors, nurses, nutritionists and respiratory therapists at the burn center are caring for Brewer around-the-clock.
As reported in, Brewer was set on fire by five classmates on Oct. 12. Authorities later released the 911 tapes of the emergency calls.
More recently, the Broward Sheriff's Office reported the following according to the Miami Herald:
In confronting Brewer, [Matthew] Bent ordered the others to set him ablaze with rubbing alcohol. Denver Jarvis, 15, poured the rubbing alcohol, while Jesus Mendez, 15, used a lighter to set the teen on fire. The other two, Jeremy Jarvis, 13, and Steven Shelton, 15, watched and did nothing.
Four of the youths were charged with aggravated battery, and Mendez faces a charge of second-degree attempted murder. All five boys, classmates of Brewer's at Deerfield Beach Middle School, have been placed in a juvenile detention facility.
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