A desperate dad has told of the "hardest moment of his life" after his wife hanged herself at their family home moments after send a heartbreaking final text.
Hayley Cayton, 34, was found lifeless at the house she shared with husband John and their three young kids.
Now, devastated John, 44, has spoken for the first time of his grief at the trauma.
"I was rushing through the supermarket check-out as fast as I could. By the time I got home, there were ambulances outside. Hayley had hanged herself," the father-of-three said.
Hayley was taken to hospital but died the following day – when she was due to go on a romantic holiday with John.
John, of Leyland, Lancs., added: "I had to tell our sons that their mummy had died and it was the hardest moment of my life. They have really struggled since losing their mum.
"If anything positive can come from Hayley’s death I would like to raise awareness of mental illness and how important it is to have support."
Hayley posted a last group text to all her friends and family saying "I am done fighting, bye for now. Love you lots" hours before she hanged herself in October last year.
The housewife had been battling mental illness for years.
She was diagnosed with emotional personality disorder in 2017 and had been assessed with "chronic suicidal ideation" after a series of attempts to self-harm.
Her mental health started to deteriorate after the premature birth of first child McKenzie in 2006.
He was diagnosed with gastroschisis, with his bowel and colon outside of his body, and had to have surgery to remove large parts of his bowel.
But the baby developed a blood clot in his lung, was in hospital for months and had to be resuscitated on more than one occasion.
John, who is a window fitter, said: "It was a very stressful time. We lived at the hospital. We saw our son almost die, several times. Somehow, we got through it and it made us stronger, but it was very hard, for Hayley, as a new mum.
"Until we had children, Hayley was very bubbly and happy and nothing bothered her.
"Her mental health deteriorated, and she would try to kill herself, just out of the blue.
"She was very impulsive and irrational. She became like two totally different people."
The couple, who met in 2002 and married three years later, had second son Harrison in 2008 and third child Elliot in 2010.
But Elliot had a serious heart condition and, again, the family found themselves spending months in hospital.
After Hayley was diagnosed with an ovarian cyst and had surgery in 2012, she suffered seizures and depression.
John continued: "Hayley began self-harming and she talked about suicide. I was so worried about her. I was up the wall, trying to look after the boys, hold down a job and look after Hayley too.
"I was living in a state of total panic.
"She took an overdose. She went out one night to a motorway bridge and threatened to jump. She did the same at our local train station. She even tried to hang herself in hospital.
"There was no build up to the attacks – she was very impulsive and irrational. Once, we were having a cup of tea, chatting happily, and I nipped up to the loo. When I came downstairs, she was trying to strangle herself. She couldn’t explain why she did it or what was going through her head.
"She became like two totally different people.
"It was heart-breaking. I felt I was losing her – the boys were losing their mum – and there was nothing I could do."
An inquest into Hayley’s death was held in April.
Recording a narrative conclusion, coroner James Newman said it was not clear whether Hayley had intended to take her own life or whether she assumed that somebody would reach her in time to save her.
He said: "She suffered for a long time with physical and psychological conditions and her coping strategy to stress were impulsive acts of self-harm.
”She was regularly seen by mental health services and she did seem to show some signs of improving.
"For whatever reason she appeared to have made another impulsive decision and sent out a family text saying she loved them and was found relatively shortly after.
"She died by her own hands, however, the matter of intent is lacking in this instance."
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