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15-year-old schoolboy hangs himself after struggling with first lockdown

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A schoolboy said goodbye to his friends on Snapchat before he hanged himself, an inquest heard on Wednesday, 24 March.

Talented kickboxer Kian Southway, 15, took to Snapchat in March 2020 to write “Goodbye everyone” after struggling to cope just days into the first national lockdown.

Friends alerted his sister to the social media post and his sister immediately told her parents but when they rushed to check on Kian, he was found hanged.

He was rushed to the hospital but his condition declined and he died four days later.

An inquest heard he had been missing his friends and school due to lockdown and was worried about not sitting for his exams.

The Pontypridd hearing was told Kian had also had a “tiff” with a girl he had been close with.

The girl told the hearing she and Kian “were more than just friends” but had not been in a formal relationship, The Sun reports.

She said: “I last saw Kian the weekend prior to his death. We had a bit of a tiff but I wouldn’t say it was a fight or an argument.

“I wouldn’t always reply straight away to Kian’s messages but I didn’t reply to anyone else’s either.

“I found out what had happened on March 27. I was forwarded a Snapchat story.”

The hearing was told Kian missed school because of lockdown and was worried about having to rely on predicted grades for his GCSEs.

Kian’s mum Jolene Southway, 41, said: “Kian was bright, he was popular, and he was a joy to teach. He loved school and he loved being out with the boys.

“He always had A’s but when he got results he did get some Bs. We probably did give him a little bit of a hard time.”

Kian was found by his parents on March 27, 2020, but died on March 31.

South Wales Central coroner Thomas Atherton recorded a conclusion of suicide.

Speaking previously Kian’s mum Jolene warned others to be aware of the potential dangers lockdown poses.

She said: “We need people to know Kian wasn’t suffering from mental health issues, he wasn’t depressed.

“We need people to know how quickly this happens. I think he literally felt isolated from the world due to this Covid-19.

“Kian loved life. Boris Johnson announced a lockdown on Monday and he was gone by Friday. The gremlin took hold, he kept saying he couldn’t wait for it to be over and that he wanted to fast forward it all.

“We didn’t expect this at all. We constantly talk and we encourage the kids to talk, we don’t hide anything.”

Jolene urged others to speak out if they were struggling.

She added: “I just need people to talk, I need them to know it’s okay not to be okay and that people really really love you and want to talk.

“There’s numbers if you can’t talk to loved ones.

“We are a family you don’t expect this to happen to. Kian had the best life. It destroys people, families, it destroys everything.”

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