17-year-old hanged herself on Christmas Eve in the same way her aunt had three years ago

Tiegan O'Rourke was found hanged in her bedroom after sending out a text: 'I want to be with my auntie.'


                            17-year-old hanged herself on Christmas Eve in the same way her aunt had three years ago

A 17-year-old teenager hanged herself on Christmas Eve after struggling to cope with the death of her aunt, who had killed herself in the same way three years ago.

Hours before her death, Tiegan O'Rourke had told her mother that she was excited about the festive season, but was still struggling to come in terms with the death of her aunt, 37-year-old Lynnsey Catley.

Tiegan was found hanged in her bedroom after sending out a text; "I want to be with my auntie." She was immediately taken to hospital but passed away three days later. Her organs were donated to help save the lives of others. 

Tiegan O'Rourke had told her mother that she was excited about the festive season, but was still struggling to come in terms with the death of her aunt who killed herself in 2015 (Facebook)
Tiegan O'Rourke had told her mother that she was excited about the festive season, but was still struggling to come in terms with the death of her aunt who killed herself in 2015 (Facebook)

 

An inquest in Preston, Lancashire into the death revealed that Tiegan had a troubled childhood and suffered from mental health issues, which were exacerbated after the death of her aunt.

The niece was very close to the mother-of-five and was left devastated after she was found hanged at her home in Blackburn in April 2015.

In 2015, The Lancashire Telegraph reported that tributes had been made to Catley, who had been described as a "loving mother" to her children. 

Tiegan's mother, Ema Catley, said her daughter faced social issues and difficulties in relationships, which started to take a toll on her when she was about 10 years old.

"There were a number of incidents in the run up to Christmas 2014 that had a very troubling effect on her and by February 2015 I became aware of her self-harming," Catley told the Daily Mail.

"She had three overdoses in a six week period - one of those attempted overdoses was when my sister passed away. She was very close to her auntie and took that really badly," the 38-year-old mother said.. 

Tiegan had then moved to a children's home in Accrington, where her condition appeared to be improving and she had put forward for the finals of the 'Miss Lancashire' beauty contest and attended her school prom. She had enjoyed her niece's birthday and had even been discussing what outfit she would wear on Christmas Day.

Tiegan O'Rourke posing with her friend a year ago (Facebook)
Tiegan O'Rourke posing with her friend a year ago (Facebook)

 

"She made friends with a young lad but the boy died in the bedroom next to her. This was another dent on her and she descended after that - she struggled with the supported living arrangement. Tiegan was asking people not to tell me about some of the self-harm incidents because she did not want to distress me," the grieving mother added.

Recalling the day of the tragedy, she shared "At about 12.30 on Christmas Eve we had a text conversation about presents. She was talking about giving me some money for her brothers present and I told her her grandma had sent her some money, she said "put it in my bank mum."

"At about 3pm I received a message on Facebook from the father of one of Tiegan's friends saying she had told him she wanted to be with her auntie. I tried to call her but there was no answer so I called the house and the lady said she would check on her."

"That same lady then called me back to tell me that she was unconscious and being treated by paramedics. Tiegan was very impulsive, she could be absolutely fine and in the next 30 seconds it would completely change," she narrated.

"After her death I was told that she had been speaking about her clothes for Christmas Day and that she was looking forward to coming home for Christmas."

Tiegan is described as "caring' and 'beautiful" and her grandparents took to social media to share, "Tiegan you will be missed but never ever forgotten. You will never age, nor your beauty ever fade. Your inner beauty you shared selflessly and lightened all the hearts you touched. Rest your head now and sleep. Your work is complete."

A consultant psychiatrist, Dr Bernadka Dubicka, who treated her said that when Tiegan was first transferred to the centre, that staff had been struck by the amount of traumatic events in her life, the Mail reported.

"Most of the time she was a very pleasant young girl who was very well liked by the other young people in the unit."

"She would be low for a period of time but would then be keen to be discharged as soon as possible. We would try to persuade her to stay for a little longer but it was difficult as we could not detain her. On one occasion when she was admitted, she wanted to go to her school prom which was really important to her. Tiegan spoke often about her niece and cared about her a lot."

"The profile of emerging personality disorder would fit Tiegan. The fact that her living arrangements were changing frequently was not helpful. She was struggling with the transition from children to adult services."

Social worker Samantha Moore added that Tiegan has been reluctant to talk about mental health. "I think I was just another face in social services. I last saw her in November 2017 and she was pleasant and smiling and laughing as she sat on the sofa but then she pulled a rope from behind where she was sat. This was very shocking to see."

On seeing her last, support worker Linda Wade said; "Towards the end of her stay, the whole team thought that things were getting better for Tiegan. She seemed happier, she was very excited that she could start to stay at her mums, she adored her niece."

"Tiegen didn't smile very much but you could always tell when she was in good mood. But if she was really upset she'd say something like 'I'd like to be with my auntie."

It's been almost a year since she's passed away and tributes pour in everyday from her friends and family.