A CHEERLEADER found hanged in her Durham University bedroom has today been remembered as a “beautiful, vibrant” young woman.
Alexandra Wilshaw, 21, had shown no signs of depression before she was tragically discovered in March 2018.
And her mum Carole Fowkes, 51, has now revealed her heartache at losing her only child.
Speaking to Lincolnshire Live, she said: “We never knew there was anything wrong. She used to be perfectly fine when we spoke to her over Facetime – I would ask her if anything was wrong and she would tell me that she was OK – she’d seem happy.
“You just wouldn’t have known – she kept it all to herself. There were no signs at all.”
She said her daughter had struggled with anxiety before but said the young woman had seemed excited about the future while in her third year studying maths at uni.
Carole added: “She was really vibrant.
“Alexandra was a bubbly and outgoing girl – she was actually quite loud and funny.”
She said she had received a knock at the door at 4am in March last year – with police telling her Alexandra had been rushed to intensive care after being found.
But despite doctors’ best efforts, the young woman was declared brain dead and died March 18.
YOU'RE NOT ALONE
It doesn’t discriminate, touching the lives of people in every corner of society – from the homeless and unemployed to builders and doctors, reality stars and footballers.
It’s the biggest killer of people under the age of 35, more deadly than cancer and car crashes.
And men are three times more likely to take their own life than women.
Yet it’s rarely spoken of, a taboo that threatens to continue its deadly rampage unless we all stop and take notice, now.
That is why The Sun launched the You’re Not Alone campaign.
The aim is that by sharing practical advice, raising awareness and breaking down the barriers people face when talking about their mental health, we can all do our bit to help save lives.
Let’s all vow to ask for help when we need it, and listen out for others… You’re Not Alone.
If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems, the following organisations provide support:
Since Alexandra’s death, Durham Castle Society has started an awareness campaign in her honour.
They said: “Alexandra Scarlett Wilshaw was a young woman who experienced life with intensity, its highs and lows, and challenges. She tragically died last year by suicide.
“Alexandra read Maths at Durham University and was a member of University College.
“She inspired many through her blog, volunteered with Castle Community Action, participated in the cheerleading squad, loved her family and friends, and reached out to many.
“Last year, the College and Alexandra’s family established a fund in Alexandra’s name to help promote awareness of anxiety, depression and the risk of suicide, and better ways to cope with these issues.”
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Since Alexandra’s death, her mother has worked to raise funds in her daughter’s memory.
She said: “I’d urge parents to be more aware and vigilant and make sure your children really are OK.
“Tragically it’s too late for Alex but we must all do what we can to highlight the growing mental health crisis among students and schoolchildren.”
- IF you are having suicidal thoughts, suffering from anxiety or depression or just want to talk, call The Samaritans on 116 123.