Sinead Bowles’ devastated parents Andy and Anita Bowles have paid tribute to her, saying she had shown no signs of feeling depressed or having mental health issues
A “brilliant” student took her own life after contracting coronavirus and feeling “locked up”, her heartbroken father says.
Sinead Bowles’ devastated parents Andy and Anita Bowles say she had shown no signs of feeling depressed or having mental health issues.
The 21-year-old, who was a team leader at Alton Towers, had been furloughed during the pandemic and just “put her head down” to get on with her university studies, StokeonTrentLive reports.
Then, days before her death, she had gone out with friends and contracted Covid.
Her father, Andy, said: “I think her feelings came on quickly. She just felt she’d got Covid and was locked up.
“Like a lot of parents who are in this position, the common denominator is you never expect your child to take that course of action.”
Sinead had just completed the second year of her degree course at Staffordshire University and wanted to study for a master’s at Cambridge.
She was found dead at her family home in Hanley, Staffordshire, on July 14.
An inquest on Monday heard that Sinead’s best friend Keisha Nichols, who lived next door, had raised the alarm after realising she hadn’t let her dog out.
Earlier that day, Sinead had also sent a worrying text, saying: “I genuinely wish I could go to sleep and not wake up.”
By the time she was found with several ‘goodbye’ notes on her bed, it was too late for paramedics to save her.
Sinead had found an interest in helping to turn round the lives of former prisoners, and was doing a podcast with Keisha, in which they would talk about positive ways to improve mental health.
Sinead’s mum Anita, said: “She also had a passion for Men Unite and helping others.”
After losing her grandparents aged 13, she had “started to focus on life again” in the months leading up to her death, Anita said.
“As part of her university course, she went to visit prisons around the UK, which she loved. She was a natural in talking to people.”
Her parents, who are divorced, said she had been a “shining light in our lives and was loved dearly by her family and many friends”.
Concluding the death was the result of suicide, North Staffordshire senior coroner Andrew Barkley said Covid may have been a factor in what happened, although it was unclear.
The family have raised more than £1,700 for the charity Young Minds in her memory. Andy scaled Mount Snowdon on Friday and is planning to take on the Three Peaks Challenge next year.
To donate to the family’s Just Giving fundraising page, click here.