Singing River Health pediatrician gives students a lesson in kindness

Singing River Health System pediatrician Dr. Tyler Sexton knows how to connect with kids in and out of the office.
Published: Sep. 2, 2022 at 6:00 PM CDT
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GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - Singing River Health System pediatrician Dr. Tyler Sexton knows how to connect with kids in and out of the office. When it comes to those who have been bullied for being different, few understand their pain better.

“I was bullied almost my entire life,” he said. “I have cerebral palsy. I was a 28-weeker. I’ve had 18 surgeries. I was told I’d never walk, talk or be a doctor.”

But he did.

Sexton was guest speaker at Bayou View Middle School in Gulfport to talk to sixth-graders about how to overcome adversity with a positive attitude and how to be kind to others.

“We don’t always have to be first,” he told the students. “You don’t always have to be the best. If just learn how to slow down and count your blessings that whatever you’re going through, there’s a purpose in it, that you’re going to be provided for, and things are going to work out.”

He also suggested that everyone find a mentor, like he did.

“My pediatrician believed in the same dreams that I had, and he was always crazy and wearing these T-shirts and acting goofy and I thought, ‘I can be like him,’ " he said. " And that kind of set me on a path to try to do this now.”

It’s a lesson well learned.

“When he said that little things can change a person, I can understand that,” said sixth-grader Taylar Write. “I have one of my friends, like, they went through a lot of stuff, and people have been bullying the person and stuff. And I’ve tried to be the bigger person.”

Wesley Beckman said stepping in to stop bullying not only helps the victim -- it helps you.

“It makes me feel good,” he said, “because I was helping someone, like helping someone stand up for himself.”

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