Chicagoans are rallying behind Henry Sembdner, a seventh-grader in Chicago, Illinois, who was beaten into a coma by a classmate on Feb. 3.
Cubs star Anthony Rizzo tweeted a message to the hospitalized 12-year-old: “Heard you are a big @Cubs fan Henry. When you are better I have a couple tickets and BP passes waiting for you at Wrigley. #StayStrong.”
Meanwhile, classmates and other schoolchildren are wearing Cubs blue and posting photos on social media to show their support for Sembdner, KCPQ reports.
“I cannot believe that this happened to my friend,” said Alyssa Anderson, WLS reports.
“He is just so sweet,” she added. “He would do this for anyone else. He is just the sweetest kid ever.”
“Seeing him the hospital, all of those pictures. It’s just so sad. It’s horrible,” chimed in Alex Best, another friend.
Sembdner received facial fractures and other injuries from the beating, which reportedly occurred after Sembdner bumped into a boy in a school hallway. Although Sembdner had to be airlifted to the hospital, reports indicate he was able to return home a few days after the incident.
“You heard it here first … Henry is Home!” the boy’s mother, Karen Sembdner, tweeted on Feb. 7.
Many were happy to hear the news, including Rizzo.
“Glad you are home Buddy,” he tweeted. “Keep staying #HenryStrong. See you at Wrigley this summer.”
Sembdner’s mother was touched to learn about the immense support her son was receiving: “I’m sure it shows him there are people that care,” she said. “I think it’s amazing to see how many people can come together for just one person.”
In addition to the tweets and blue shirts, friends and loved ones in the community also created GoFundMe accounts and even hosted a candlelight vigil for the boy, reports the Daily Herald.
“We were just trying to figure out ways that we could help and be a strong community and make sure Henry has all the prayers he can have,” vigil organizer and parent Nikki Plaza-Altman said. “I also didn’t want our community to have this black eye, because we are better than that.”
Police are currently investigating the situation to determine if the boy who attacked Sembdner should face criminal charges.
Sources: KCPQ, Anthony Rizzo/Twitter, WLS, Karen Sembdner/Twitter, Daily Herald / Photo Credit: Karen Sembdner/Twitter