WILTON MANORS, Fla. - Michael Brewer celebrated his 16th birthday Monday, one day before the first anniversary of the day he became a victim of a fiery attack.
Brewer has spent the past year recovering after he was doused in alcohol and set on fire at the Lime Tree Village Apartments in Deerfield Beach. He suffered burns to more than 60 percent of his body in the attack, which happened in an argument with other teens over a bike and a video game, according to police.
After many surgeries and therapies, Brewer is living his life once again as a teenager with a new school, a new home and lots of new friends.
"We are very happy to be here," said Michael's mother, Valerie Brewer. "It's been a long journey -- a very long journey -- and I think we've come out pretty good."
Michael Brewer and his family chose the Independence Hall Senior Living Facility to celebrate his 16th birthday. The facility helped Michael Brewer to raise funds for his medical bills, and he said he fell in love with them.
"I love old people. They are really funny," Michael Brewer said.
Michael Brewer is a New York Giants fan, so along with a Giants-themed cake, he received a signed helmet, a jersey and player Eli Manning's autograph.
Jesus Mendez, Denver Jarvis and Matthew Bent, all now 16 years old, were charged as adults with second-degree attempted murder in the attack on Brewer.
Michael Brewer said that after his ordeal, he is much stronger and is ready to face the teens accused of attacking him in court.
"I think they are just jerks and they got what they deserved," Michael Brewer said. "I'm taking therapy to get rid of the anger."
Until he gets his day in court, Brewer said his friends, young and old, are helping him with the emotional scars that have yet to heal.
"It's so good to see him and have him so well. We love him dearly," said a resident of Independence Hall.
The three suspects pleaded not guilty in November. They face up to 30 years in prison if convicted.
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