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    The mother of Sunderland’s tragic teenager, Thomas Brookes, speaks in anticipation of the opening of the investigation

    Thomas Brookes and pictured with mom Helen Wardropper (left) and aunt Cheryl Coggins

    Helen, who desperately tried to save her son, claims to have been devastated by his death.

    “It’s absolutely horrendous,” he said.

    “People ask me how I am and I don’t pretend to be well, because I am not.

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    “I’m just trying to get day by day at the moment.”

    Sunderland medical assistant Karin Welsh will open an investigation into Thomas’s death at the medical examiner Sunderland’s court at 11 am on Wednesday 15 January.

    Northumbrian police have confirmed that death is not treated as suspect and Helen hopes an investigation will look at support for young people with mental health problems in Sunderland.

    Speaking shortly after the death of his son, he said that Thomas had a number of health problems before he died: “He had probably had mental health problems for the past three years. He also had a bad sleep disorder and had been tested for epilepsy, and this was ongoing.

    “It is very difficult as a parent. There is still a stigma in mental health. People are afraid to talk about it.

    “If Thomas’s injuries were physical, he probably would have had a hospital appointment, but since they weren’t, he didn’t.”

    The former student of Hill View Infants and Juniors and Southmoor Academy were looking forward to a new chapter in his life after getting an interview for an apprenticeship at the Ryhope post office.

    Humanist celebrist Chris May urged the congregation to remember Thomas in the face of his struggles.

    “If, in a quiet moment, if you are not experiencing the best of your days, you will always, always, have the ability to think about Thomas and all the love and care he has brought,” said May.

    “I’m sure when you do, when you look back on those memories, that dark day will become a little brighter, because his love stays with you.”

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