The Chronicle

Devastated at death of our perfect Jack

20-YEAR-OLD SHOWED NO SIGNS OF STRUGGLING

- By SOPHIE FINNEGAN Reporter sophie.finnegan@reachplc.com

A GRIEVING mum has opened up about the heartbreak of losing her “perfect” son who took his own life at just 20 years old.

Liane Shield’s world fell apart when her eldest son Jack Watson took his life on August 31 leaving his family devastated.

The hardworkin­g son had a good job, a loving family and plenty of friends and showed no signs that he was struggling with his mental health.

Now his mum Liane is sharing her story in a bid to raise awareness of the devastatin­g impact of suicide and to encourage those struggling to seek help.

Liane, 40, from Whickham in Gateshead, said: “There were no signs at all. He had a good job, he finished college, he had lots of friends. He went on a night out that weekend and his friends all said he seemed happy.

“He had a holiday booked to go to Turkey, he had bought a card for my dad’s 60th birthday, he had bought stuff for the week ahead.

“There was nothing at all to suggest that he was unhappy. This has come as a huge shock to everybody. He was always popular even from being in primary school and he’s carried some of them friends from nursery right the way through.

“When your child is going about their day-to-day life, you don’t think to sit them down to ask if they’re having suicidal thoughts or if they know how loved they are.

“I think it might help somebody to see the devastatio­n this causes. When they feel at rock bottom if they feel like there’s no other way out, please just reach out.”

Jack leaves behind five siblings; Katie, 17, Matthew, 15, Lily, 13, Harriet, nine, and Molly, eight.

The former Whickham School student dreamed about joining the British Army ever since he was a child and studied Uniformed Public Services at Newcastle College.

Liane Li said: id “Every “E since i h he was little boy, Jack wanted to be a soldier in the British Army. We tried to dissuade him but that was always his dream. It was all he wanted to do.”

Liane said Jack was accepted into the army after he appealed their initial decision to reject him due to epilepsy.

After Jack took some time out for illness, Liane said he was told he had to reapply and was rejected for the second time.

Liane said her son always seemed happy h and now wants w to remind other ot people struggling st that they th are “loved”.

She said: “Outsi side the crematori rium, there were so many people who were all ll just j td devastated I just wanted to scream out to Jack: ‘Look at how loved you are’ but it’s too late. We can’t bring him back.

“I just wish we could change the outcome for Jack but we can’t.

“I just want people to know that they are loved and cherished and that every single life matters.

“If this hadn’t happened to me and I was reading an article or seeing it on the news I would think that is awful for that family but I would never have thought it would have happened to me.

“You think this happens to other people. It’s like I’m living someone else’s life.

“I don’t have enough words to explain just how much devastatio­n we all feel.

“If he had died through an accident or illness that would be hard enough but we would know it wasn’t his choice.”

Following Jack’s tragic death, Liane set up Jack’s Army to help raise money for the charity PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide which supports young people at risk of suicide.

She said: “The charity can only do so much. It’s so difficult for charities because they have the help there if that person is able to reach out.

“Especially young men, a lot of them don’t talk about their feelings and it’s very difficult for the charity to be able to help them.”

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 ??  ?? 17, Matthew, Jack with his siblings Katie, and Molly, eight 15, Lily, 13, Harriet, nine,
17, Matthew, Jack with his siblings Katie, and Molly, eight 15, Lily, 13, Harriet, nine,
 ??  ?? Liane Shield is hoping to raise awareness after the death of her son Jack Watson
Liane Shield is hoping to raise awareness after the death of her son Jack Watson

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