WARNING: UPSETTING PICTURES
GRIEVING dad Adrian Derbyshire has released pictures of his dying daughter on what would have been her 18th birthday to raise awareness of online bullying and teenage suicides.
Describing it as the hardest thing he has ever had to do and making him feel physically sick Adrian decided to publicly raise awareness of Julia’s #SASSY campaign & death on social media by using images of her in hospital before her life support was turned off.
Adrian, from Warrington, said :”It is the first time I’ve looked at the pictures since taking them which is going to destroy me but I feel we need to do this to raise vital awareness so no one has to go through what we’ve all had to endure.
“It’s going to be the hardest thing, physically & psychologically I’ve ever had to do and I feel physically sick.
Adrian added: “I am releasing them on Julia’s 18th birthday as instead of celebrating her birthday with champagne, I am laying roses by her grave.
“I am doing this because I don’t want any other parent, friend or family member to go through the living hell we have.”
Julia took her own life in October 2015. She spent five days on a life support machine after being found by her father who desperately battled to save her life with CPR, trying to start her heart again until the emergency services arrived.
The irony of the situation was that Adrian, who battled on with his own disability caused by an inoperable brain tumour, to become a medal winning Great Britain swordsman, has dedicated his life to speaking to tens of thousands of children and young people in schools as an anti-hate, stigma and anti-bullying campaigner, with Julia joining him on many occasions, helping spread the message to help save young lives.
Adrian was aware his daughter had suffered years of abuse during her formative years in America and was eventually successful in bringing her “back home to Warrington” where she had appeared to have settled.
But unknown to Adrian, Julia had a secret life – with hidden phones and a false identity as a member of website groups which promoted teenage self-harming and suicide and glorifying a “beautiful death.”
This secret life only became apparent when he looked through her things following her death.
Through the Internet via phones and computers she had access to graphic and disturbing pro self-harm and pro-anorexia websites and materials.
Despite, questioning his own mortality, Adrian made the difficult decision to continue on his anti-hate and anti-bullying campaign keeping the memory of his daughter alive.
For more information about Adrian’s work visit www.adrianderbyshire.co.uk