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Police officers create special bond with bullied vision-impaired teen

Denver Police Officers Alicia Martinez (left) and Monique Sedberry became close friends with Victor Jiron after they performed a welfare check on him last year. (Image source: Video screenshot)

When two Colorado police officers performed a welfare check last year on a 15-year-old boy who'd been bullied, they had no idea it would change all of their lives.

Victor Jiron, who's visually impaired, had long been mistreated by his classmates, but he was finally pushed over the edge when someone poured hot glue on his arm.

“This was one of the tougher calls for us,” Officer Monique Sedberry told Steve Hartman of "CBS Sunday Morning." “His teacher had called 911, saying that he was being bullied and he wanted to end his life.”

What happened?

Denver officers Sedberry and Alicia Martinez responded to the call and took Victor to a psychiatric hospital for treatment. But it didn't end there.

"He got to my heart," Sedberry said. "He really got to me."

The two officers decided they would do everything possible to help Victor. They've continued to spend a lot of time with the teen and have developed a close relationship with him.

"He's like our family," Sedberry said. "He's like a little brother."

The officers still talk to the teen often and attend karate classes with him, as well as other events.

"Anytime that I wanted to talk to them they would answer," Victor said.

They've noticed a vast improvement in Victor's well-being since their initial meeting.

"[He's] Totally different. His demeanor is so much better," Sedberry said.

The teen has changed schools and is no longer around those who bullied him. Victor also received a corneal transplant which has improved his vision.

"Can you tell how handsome I am?" CBS News reporter Steve Hartman asked Victor.

"I could tell you're pretty old," Victor replied with a laugh.

How many teens commit suicide annually?

Suicide among 10- to 24-year-olds was the second-leading cause of death, behind unintentional injuries, in 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Annually, more than 2,000 teenagers commit suicide.

Suicide rates have increased in nearly every state between 1999 and 2016. Nearly 45,000 people died to suicide in 2016.

Where can someone find help?

If you or someone you know needs help, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or visit the website.

Teens or parents of teenagers who need help can also contact the Teen Lifeline at 602-248-8336.

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