LEON: Man hospitalized after attempting hot water bucket challenge

Crescent Hill — Forty-four-year-old Steve O’Neill was taken to University of Louisville Hospital yesterday at 3:20 p.m. after attempting to start the hot water bucket challenge. A representative at the hospital indicates that he was trying to raise awareness for an affliction called “congenital analgesia,” a condition for which a person cannot feel pain or discomfort. The O’Neill family has not been available for comment, but friends indicate that O’Neill’s brother suffers from congenital analgesia. 

Authorities have been called to investigate the situation. While officials do not suspect foul play in the burning of O’Neill’s face, neck, chest and exposed parts of his legs, they have expressed concerns over how O’Neill’s brother became afflicted with such a rare medical condition. Doctors indicate that only 20 cases have ever been reported in scientific studies. 

The true victim of this incident appears to be O’Neill’s 16-year-old-daughter, who is totally embarrassed by her dad. 

“I am just so embarrassed,” she told reporters. “It’s like, why do my parents always have to do this to me? I mean, what did I ever do to them?” Brittany requested that her name not be included to spare her any further embarrassment. 

Cellphone video of the hot water challenge appears to have been taken by Brittany in the family’s front lawn. While several others appear in the video, all indications are that they were O’Neill’s buddies, invited over to drink beer and egg him on. One of O’Neill’s friends can be heard in the background yelling, “Do it! C’mon, don’t be a little girl. Do it!”

Also on the video is O’Neill’s 13-year-old son Dylan, who can be seen cheering his father on, including defending the elder O’Neill from his angry, disapproving mother. At one point in the video, Dylan’s mother appears to be attempting to stop her husband from undertaking this challenge. But when her husband indicates that he knows what he is doing, Dylan can be seen supporting his father, saying, “Yeah, Mom. He knows what he’s doing.”

Dylan is said to be terribly upset over the incident, but remains his dad’s biggest fan.

The video has since been posted on YouTube by O’Neill’s friends. The responses have been varied, but largely critical of O’Neill’s intelligence. The only word from O’Neill following the incident has been in response to some of his harsher critics on YouTube. His statement reads: “The comments, and insensitivity for people with congenital analgesia is what hurts much more than any of the burns. Even the second- and third-degree burns.”

The YouTube clip was viewed 57,450 times in the first three hours after being posted.