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WARNING: This article contains content about mental health and suicide that may be triggering for some readers.
Today host Karl Stefanovic has broken down live on air after sharing the heartbreaking story of a Sydney teenager who took her own life during lockdown.
Daisy Long, 19, had struggled with her mental health since battling a tick-borne disease that had seen her virtually bedridden from the age of 13 to 16.
She had battled Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) but had pushed through and began achieving her goals including starting a psychology degree this year.
Then Covid struck again, and Daisy spiralled downwards during the current lockdown.
On August 6, she tragically took her own life.
A teary Stefanovic had to be comforted by his co-host Alison Langdon following his confronting interview with Daisy’s grieving mum Sally and younger sister Tiggy.
Stefanovic's daughter Ava knows Tiggy and has been impacted by Daisy’s death.
"It stays with you, a little bit," he said while wiping away tears.
Covid lockdown sent teen ‘spiralling’
Daisy’s grief-stricken family shared her heartbreaking story with the Today show in the hope of helping others.
"We hope that we can help, and we hope that we can stop another child from doing what Daisy did, which is leaving this earth," Sally told Stefanovic.
"I keep expecting Daisy to walk through the door. But in honour of Daisy and in her memory, we will tell this story."
The psychology student had dreams of travelling the world.
"We kept saying to her once you are better, your life will be better. You will go ahead and achieve your goals and dreams," Sally said.
But when the Covid pandemic put her plans on hold, Daisy started to struggle with feelings of being trapped.
"I don't know why they use the word 'lockdown'. To a young person that meant prison," she said.
Stefanovic praised for confronting interview
Langdon and presenter Alex Cullen thanked Stefanovic for sharing the “powerful” story.
“Heavy,” Langdon commented as the interview concluded.
“Really, really heavy,” responded Stefanovic.
“This is a monumental pain and grief, and this is happening around this country right now, a lot,” Stefanovic said.
Daisy's family has set up Tiggy's Perspective to raise awareness about suicide.
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