Tragic teenager who feared coronavirus isolation dies after trying to take her own life
A teenage girl who was concerned about coronavirus and the impact of isolation has tragically died after an attempt to take her own life.
The family of 19 year-old Emily Owen have paid tribute to a 'beautiful, funny, talented and a little bit crazy' daughter and sister.
Miss Owen, from Shouldham in West Norfolk, was on life support at Queen Elizabeth Hospital but taken off in order to allow organ donation, and died at the weekend.
Her sister Annabel posted an emotional tribute online, saying: "We are all absolutely devastated but also immensely proud of everything she achieved in her life. So many people have messaged us saying how Emily helped them through hard times of their own.
“To many people Emily was a really fun, energetic, happy girl, but only a few were aware of the many years of internal battles she had.
"Few people are aware but four years ago she was diagnosed with high-functioning autism and had a daily battle to fit in and conform to social norms.
“She didn’t want anyone to know, but now she has gone we want to make people know that autism comes in all shapes and sizes."
Emily worked at the King's Arms pub in Shouldham and was described as 'truly beautiful inside and out'.
A tribute posted on the pub's Facebook page read: "We are heartbroken that we won’t see her breeze through our doors like a tornado of energy again, or hear her distinctive laugh. She was a big part of our team and we will miss her enormously."
Her family revealed that Miss Owen had signed up for organ donation when she was 12, an indication of how she was 'always caring about other people'.
They said she was concerned about coronavirus and the 'mental health impacts of isolation'.
They added: "She couldn’t cope with her world closing in and plans being cancelled and being stuck inside”.
One Facebook post revealed: “She said only a few days ago that ‘more people will die from suicide during this than the virus itself’."
The King's Arms have since launched a JustGiving page for Norfolk and Waveney Mind in Emily's memory, which has already raised more than £2,000.
■ To donate in Emily’s memory, visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Emilyo
If you are affected by any of the issues raised in this article, please contact the Samaritans on 116123 (free) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.