Why This Image of a Six-Year-Old Girl Sick in a Hospital Bed Needs to Be Seen

At six years old, little Sophia should be enjoying her first year of big school, practicing her cartwheels in the playground and learning how to read and write.

Instead, she is physically sick every night, in and out of hospital and afraid to go to school.

And the reason? Because of something that continues to crop up over and over and over again, something that impacts countless kids every day, something that has already caused many children to take their own lives as an escape.

Bullying. Yes, bullying. At six years old. How awful is that?

This is what bullying does…

Sophia’s mum, Carrie Golledge shared this image and now-viral message on her Facebook page earlier this week. Although she doesn’t delve into the exact details of the bullying, her photo paints a pretty clear picture.

Six year old hospitalised due to bullying

This is my 6 year old daughter, hospitalised, due to bullying…

These are Carrie’s words about Sophia. Raw, emotional and eloquent, you can picture this mama’s heart breaking as she discloses how bullies are destroying her child. Piece by piece, day by day. And apparently without a single thing being done about it.

This is my 6 year old daughter, hospitalised, due to bullying…

This is my child with such a caring heart that despite being so ill “doesn’t want anyone to get in trouble”…This is my child who has stopped eating, has cried herself to sleep, had anxiety so severe she’s up sick over 20 times in an hour through the night…

Whose ‘best friend’ has emotionally abused her for so long she thought it was normal…

This is my child who has been in and out of hospital for countless trips due to being so sick with anxiety…

Who was told off for ‘telling tales at school’, who has been mocked on social media by the bullies’ parents, who, when addressing the issues with her school, [was] told “It’s just 6 year olds being 6 year olds”…”

A mother’s plea

“This is my child who is one of too many that are going through this… This is my child whose story is being twisted and manipulated by the very people that were meant to protect her at her school when she was in their care,” Carrie writes, the emotion clear in her words.

“This is my child who doesn’t want this to happen to anyone else. So this is my child’s story we are sharing. Please help us share her story. Let’s show her the support her school couldn’t afford her.”

She is one of many… too many 

Carrie’s message is absolutely heartbreaking. How a little girl, at age six, could be this sick from bullying is disgusting. But, like Carrie says, this is something that goes on for countless kids.

Kids like Sienna Davies, who suffered extreme panic attacks from bullying.

And Brian Birchell, who attempted to strangle himself with a curtain cord after a bullying incident.

And Dolly Everett, who chose suicide over having to face another year of bullying at her boarding school.

What to watch for

As parents, we need to be aware that things might not be all roses at school. We need to talk to our kids, to ask them questions, to monitor any changes and to let them know that we are always there to protect them, no matter what.

Below are a few of the signs to look for if you suspect your child is being bullied online or at school:

  • Changes in behaviour – becoming aggressive, unreasonable, insecure, anxious or frightened
  • Refusing to talk about what is wrong
  • Showing an unwillingness to discuss friendships and secrecy around communication at school and online
  • Grades slipping
  • Unexplained bruising, cuts, etc. or getting into fights at school
  • Coming home with missing or damaged belongings or clothing
  • Refusing to go to school or get out of bed
  • Changes in sleeping, eating patterns
  • Frequent mood swings, tears, anger and anxiety, stomach pains or unexplained pain

Where to get help

Bullying in schools is a major concern across Australia. If you or anyone you know needs help, please contact:

Avatar of Jenna Galley

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe. When the mum-of-three is not writing, you can find her floating in the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach, bouncing her baby to sleep or nagging her older kids to put on their pants.


  1. Avatar of Betty Brady
    Betty BradyReply

    I went over the teachers head when nothing changed when my grandson was being bullied BY HIS TEACHER! AndI did the same about kids bullying kids – parents fear making things worse But grandmothers are avenging worriers.

    • Avatar of Betty May

      Well done. I’d be the same if it was one of my grandchildren. Although my daughters wouldn’t hold back anyway. I was bullied at school and my parents weren’t aware. However, when one of the teachers kept picking on me it was my brother, who was in 6th form, who actually had a word with the teacher and the teacher then left the school. I didn’t ask what was said but I was very happy at school afterwards.

  2. Avatar of Amy Rainer

    That is horrible, please let this little girl know.
    You are only young sweety you are a strong, smart beautiful little girl and you are going to grow up and do such wonderful things in your life, you are better then the bad people. Be happy and play and enjoy your childhood darling, your a special little lady eat your food and be happy, grow up big and strong and make the world a better place

  3. Avatar of Helen

    Feeling so very sad for your little girl and for Mommy too. My daughter was bullied in school at the age of 5 yrs old she wasn’t sleeping and just looked deprested. I reported the bulliing to the teacher and principle a number of times and nothing was being done about it… all they ever said was we didn’t see it so we can’t do anything about it… thus made my little girl feel like noone believed her whitch was really hard on her and me. I ended up taking her out of school and homeschooling her ever since she has fully bounced back but she can’t forget about the bulling she went through.
    My advise to you as a Mother is don’t make her go back to that terrible place where she gets bullied, your poor little girl has gone through way way to much, this is absolutely heart breaking and brought me to tears.
    I wish you and your little angel all the best and a full recovery:)

  4. Avatar of Ruth

    I’ve been through this as a mother too. Don’t keep her in that school. Find her a better school or homeschool her. I wish her a lot of healing. Best of luck.

  5. Avatar of Trish

    I am currently changing my granddaughter to another school, after 5 years of bullying we have had enough. She is due to start year 7, the bullying has even continued over the school holidays through social media. Her “best friend “ told her that there was no point in her coming back as everyone hates her, boys and girls over 3 classes. Get mental and physical health has suffered, she has lost all her self confidence and is continually sick. Keep away from that horrible school, look for somewhere where she can be safe, even home schooling,
    At least she would have the stress removed. All the best.

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