'You feel you have failed': Mum's heartache after daughter, 21, takes her own life

A heartbroken mother has paid tribute to her daughter who took her own life.

Alexandra Wilshaw, 21, was studying at Durham University, in England’s northeast, in March 2018 when she was found unresponsive in her room on campus.

Her 51-year-old mum, Carole Fowkes, told Lincolnshire Live she remembered police and her ex-husband arriving at 4am and knocking on her door.

“The events that followed have been branded in my mind and soul forever, with no reason or answers, her actions affected so many people and as a mother, you feel you have failed her, and this has changed me as a person,” she wrote on a GoFundMe page started six days ago to raise funds to “help students who are feeling anxious and suffering from mental health issues”.

Alexandra Wilshaw, 21, took her own life in March 2018. She was found unresponsive in her room on her university campus. Source: Facebook/ Alexandra Wilshaw

Ms Wilshaw was admitted to intensive care, but she was later declared brain dead and died that month.

Ms Fowkes said she could not make sense of why her daughter took her own life.

If things were going badly, “she kept them all to herself”, the 51-year-old said.

However, Ms Fowkes said her daughter did have anxiety and took anti-depressants.

"We never knew there was anything wrong,” the mother told Lincolnshire Live.

Carole Fowkes (pictured with Ms Wilshaw) is raising funds to help students with mental health issues after the death of her daughter. Source: Facebook/Carole Fowkes

“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 okay. She'd seem happy.”

Ms Fowkes said her daughter was growing into a “lovely woman”.

She wrote on the GoFundMe page, Ms Wilshaw was “kind, caring, considerate and beautiful”.

With the help of family and friends Ms Fowkes is now hoping others can avoid the suffering she and her family had to endure from losing Ms Wilshaw.

Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636, Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467.

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