Karl Stefanovic breaks down over teen who took her life in lockdown

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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 photo of Daisy Long who took her own life in lockdown. Source: The Today Show
Daisy Long, 19, took her own life on August 6 after being trapped in Sydney's latest lockdown. Source: The Today show

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.

A screenshot of Karl Stefanovic as he choked back tears live on air over the heartbreaking story about a teen who took her own life. Source: The Today Show
Karl Stefanovic teared up live on air after sharing the heartbreaking story. Source: The Today show

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."

A screenshot of Daisy's mother Sally during her interview on the Today Show. Source: The Today Show
Daisy's family shared her story to help others struggling with mental illness. Source: The Today Show

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.

Daisy Long took her own life. Source: The Today Show
Daisy Long had battled a tick-borne illness and chronic fatigue during her teenage years. Source: The Today Show

If you or someone you know needs support during this difficult time, contact Lifeline 13 11 14, Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 or Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636.

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