Burned Teen Speaks for First Time Since Attack

Michael Brewer requests comfort, food in hospital in first words spoken

By Brian Hamacher
|  Friday, Nov 13, 2009  |  Updated 2:16 PM EDT
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The Fire Five

NBCMiami.com

Michael Brewer

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Michael Brewer may have simple tastes, but after being at death's door for a month after a horrific burn attack, comfort and comfort food were probably the only things on the 15-year-old's mind.

Two days after he was taken off a ventilator, the teen spoke his first words yesterday, asking for a dollar so he could buy french fries and a milkshake, according to the Sun-Sentinel.

Brewer has been in intensive care at the burn unit at Jackson Memorial Hospital since the Oct. 12 attack in which five classmates poured rubbing alcohol on him and set him ablaze.

With burns on over 65 percent of his body, family members have been looking for any sign of progress.

"We're all crying tears of joy," Brewer's great-aunt, Patti Gendron, told the Sun-Sentinel.

Brewer had been breathing with the help of the ventilator since he was brought to the hospital, able to communicate only through squeezing hands and other small gestures. He was taken off of the ventilator on Tuesday.

"My heart is jumping out of me," Gendron said.

Prosecutors are hoping to speak with Brewer as soon as he's able, as they build their case against the teen boys charged with setting Brewer on fire.

Matthew Bent and Denver Jarvis, both 15, and 16-year-old Jesus Mendez have all been charged with attempted murder for the orchestrated attack at a Deerfield Beach apartment complex, allegedly over a $40 video game.

Cops said Bent had the other boys douse Brewer with rubbing alcohol, then Mendez lit the match that ignited Brewer, sending the screaming teen running into the apartment's pool to put out the flames.

Two other teens, Jarvis' younger brother, Jeremy, 13, and 16-year-old Steven Shelton were released from a juvenile detention center after the state declined to press charges.

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