A father has shared heartbreaking photos of his last moments with his teenage daughter after she hanged herself, in an attempt to end online bullying.
Adrian Derbyshire, 42, has shared photos taken in the final minutes of 16-year-old daughter Julia’s life.
According to Metro, Derbyshire found Julia collapsed in their home in Warrington, England, after the teen had attempted to take her own life. Julia was the victim of online bullying and hanged herself in an attempt to commit suicide.
Just five days after the suicide attempt, Julia’s life support was switched off. Adrian took photos of his daughter in the last moments of her life.
The photos were taken in October 2015, but Derbyshire only recently shared them online as he was unable to bring himself to look at them until now.
The photos were released on what would have been Julia’s 18th birthday.
“Instead of taking her out for champagne to celebrate her 18th birthday, I was placing flowers on her grave,” he said.
The heartbroken father decided to share the photos to raise awareness for his anti-online bullying campaign, SASSY (Support Against Self-harm And Suicide in Youth), which he launched in Julia’s honor.
“Releasing these photos was one of the hardest things I have had to do in my life,” Derbyshire said. “I took the photos in the minutes before Julia’s death and buried them on my phone until now because I didn’t want to look at them and I still don’t. But I knew that I was going to need them, obviously to help raise awareness, because I think that the cause is too vital to not use them.”
According to ITV News, Adrian, a former Paralympian fencer, has given talks to more than 200,000 students at schools all over the U.K. in order to raise awareness of the dangers of bullying and self-harm.
Since Julia’s death, Derbyshire has shared her story in order to warn of the devastating effect suicide and self harm can have on families.
“Seeing the photos raised emotions back to that time and made me feel physically sick,” Adrian said. “But if it can help a parent or a family not to go through what I have been through then that it what the campaign is all about.”
He continued, “The response has been very overwhelming — I have had messages from families who have lost their teenagers and children and they have thanked [me] for releasing the photos. It also shows just how desperate the issue is and how [needed] the campaigns that I do are.”
Sources: Metro, ITV News / Photo credit: Adrian Derbyshire via ITV News, Mercury via Metro