A grief-stricken father has revealed the final words his beloved daughter spoke to him before she took her own life on her 18th birthday.
Isabella Emma Pearce died in the Princess Alexandria Hospital on January 31 this year after she was found by two 10-year-old boys in a south Brisbane park.
Her death was two days after she rode off on her bicycle and told her father: ‘I’m never coming home, Dad’.
Isabella Emma Pearce (pictured) died on her 18th birthday in Brisbane’s Princess Alexandria Hospital in January of this year while waiting for an appointment with a psychiatrist
‘The hospital wanted to keep her alive so she didn’t have to die on her birthday, but there was no point,’ said Mr Pearce, 57, told the Courier Mail.
He said he felt angry thinking of Bella’s unfulfilled potential and wondered if he could have persuaded his daughter to reconsider her actions.
Mr Pearce, along with his wife Fiona, believe Queensland’s child mental health system let their vulnerable daughter down when she needed support the most.
Mrs Peace said on that ill-fated day in January, Bella was ‘inconsolable’ after breaking up with her boyfriend and told her over the phone what she planned to do.
‘I told her to hold on, that she was so loved by all her friends and by us, and that I was on my way to her, but it wasn’t enough,’ she said.
She explained her daughter had been a happy child but begun to struggle with her mental health during puberty.
In 2018, she attended the prestigious Catholic school Our Lady’s College in Annerley and was severely bullied while in Year 10, attempting suicide in August.
Bella’s heartbroken mother explained her daughter (pictured) had been a happy child but begun to struggle with her mental health as soon as puberty hit
Two days before Isabella Pearce (pictured) took her own life in a south Brisbane park she told her heartbroken father ‘I’m never coming home Dad’
The teenager transferred to Loreto College in Coorparoo where she found a better network of friends but continued to battle with her inner demons.
In October of 2019 Bella attempted suicide again and was given a seven-day ‘safety plan’ to prevent any further attempts.
In her final year of high school the teenager called her mother from the Coorparoo campus and told her she was feeling suicidal.
Mrs Pearce said she took her daughter to the Queensland Children’s Hospital for treatment from someone in the mental health unit.
‘I should have made a formal complaint because this person made a mockery of Bella’s suffering, and made her feel worse about herself, if that was possible,’ she said.
The broken-hearted mother said she believed her daughter would still be alive if she was admitted to hospital that day.
Bella Pearce was transferred to Loreto College in Coorparoo (pictured) where she found a better network of friends but continued to battle with her inner demons
However Bella was simply told to go back on the waiting list to see a psychiatrist, a process that could take several months.
Mrs Pearce said the ‘horribly broken’ mental health system needed to have places for teenagers like Bella who are in a critical situation.
‘We need an emergency centre, specifically dedicated to helping these kids, because there are so many who lack resilience,’ she said.
Over 500 people attended a memorial for Bella held at her younger brother Josh’s school, St Laurence’s College, on February 17.
On the last photo the teenager posted to her Instagram account dozens of her friends and loved ones continue to share their grief.
‘I’m sitting in the car, sobbing because of how much I miss your voice,’ one said.
In her final year of high school Bella called her mother from the Coorparoo campus (pictured) and told her she was feeling suicidal
‘Missing you tonight. I hope you’re ok up there my angel,’ a second wrote.
‘Love you, I wish you were here for my 18th, not the same without you pretty,’ a third commented.
A GoFundMe page was set-up for the family to collect donations for funeral costs and bills by friend Alicia Stinchcombe.
‘Bella was looking forward to her 18th birthday with so much excitement,’ she wrote.
‘She was an amazing young lady with a smile that could light up a room, a laugh that would fill an entire house and a personality as big as an ocean.’
For crises support call Lifeline on 13 11 14.
Tragic words teen said to her heartbroken father before taking her own life on her 18th birthday