Mum shares last words of son, 15, who killed himself after ‘relentless bullying’

A heartbroken mum has revealed the final words of her son who killed himself after a campaign of "relentless bullying".

Simon Brooks, 15, took a cocktail of pills he had found in his family home in Wales.

He also left a suicide note after the tragedy on April 1, 2014.

Heartbroken mum, Julie Steward, has now revealed that his last words to her were "mum am I going to die?".

She said: "Simon was bullied for pretty much all of his life. He was a flamboyant character and was the life and soul of the party, but he was also sensitive and didn't always understand social situations.

"He was very articulate and was much more comfortable socialising with adults than people his own age and I think this made him a target. But he was a beautiful person and he had a very good group of close friends".

Ms Steward said Simon's bullying started at primary school when other children would "name call or steal his bag" – but progressed to physical violence when he started secondary school.

"It was relentless," she said. "He couldn't get away from it. On the day he took his own life, he'd had a fall out. It was over something trivial, but I think it had built up inside and this was what tipped him over the edge.

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"Just before Simon died we had agreed to home school. He loved subjects such as design and technology and he was very inquisitive, he loved learning. But it got to the point where he just didn't want to go to school anymore."

In the afternoon of March 28, 2014, Simon skipped his last lesson of the day and made his way home early. He then took a cocktail of medication. A suicide note written by Simon was later discovered in the house.

Ms Steward first learnt about Simon's overdose when she returned home hours later to find the emergency services outside.

She said: "I was out with friends and I just had this sudden feeling that something bad had happened. I think Simon and I had this special connection and I just told my friends that I had to go home.

"When we arrived at the house there was an ambulance outside. I ran inside and Simon was sat at the dining room table talking to paramedics. It turned out that a friend had messaged him to ask why he hadn't been in school and he told her what he had done.
"He sent a messaging saying that he 'had done it' and that he wanted to be with God. She told her mum, who managed to find out where we lived and called the police.

"When I arrived home, nobody thought it was serious. Simon was telling the paramedics about the bullying at school, saying that he had had enough – but there was no sense of urgency. We had to wait an hour for an ambulance to arrive.

"Nobody thought it was a big deal because he was conscious and was cooperating with the emergency services. Looking back, I wish I had dragged him into the bathroom and made him vomit."

Simon was taken to the Royal Glamorgan Hospital by ambulance at around 6pm on March 28. He was subsequently transferred to Cardiff's University Hospital of Wales on March 30, where he was admitted to the intensive care unit.

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Ms Steward said that Simon was lying in his hospital bed when he told her that he didn't want to die.

"He didn't want to kill himself," she said. "He was telling me that he was sorry and that he wished he hadn't done it and that he'd been stupid.

"But at this point, I still thought it was going to be ok. I thought we would get through it and that I would take him home. It wasn't until we were in the Heath hospital that I realised just how serious it was.

"A nurse came into the room and was concerned that his haemoglobin levels were so low and then it all happened at once. Suddenly the room was full of nurses and doctors. It felt like there was an elephant in the room, and I asked them to tell me what was going on. They said they were going to transfer him to the ICU.

"I remember he was so scared and confused about why all these people were by his bed. After they transferred him to the ICU, they put him into an induced coma."

Simon died two days later.

Ms Steward said: "They told us that it was serious and that we should make plans to say goodbye. I phoned my other two children and Simon's father and said look, 'I think you need to come down'.

"I still feel the pain I felt that day. It's been nearly six years, but it feels like it happened yesterday. I feel like part of me has been ripped away. Simon and I were incredibly close, we had a bond that I can't describe and I will always feel the loss and the pain that comes with losing him."

An inquest into Simon's death concluded that medical cause of death was multiple organ dysfunction caused by an overdose of several drugs. Ms Steward said Simon's death had understandably taken its toll on her own mental health.

"For the first 18 months, I was like a zombie – but I was getting by," she said. "I ended up having a mental breakdown and was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

"But I need to make sure that Simon's death was not in vain and that bullying is taken seriously. I think people have this idea that bullying is almost normal in schools, but imagine if that happened in the workplace. Adults have laws in place to protect them, children don't."

For confidential support the Samaritans can be contacted for free around the clock 365 days a year on 116 123.

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