Shibbon Winelle, mother of 17-year-old Bryce Gowdy–the Georgia Tech recruit that recently passed from an apparent suicide recently opened up about her son’s death.
Winelle told the heart-wrenching story about her son’s final moments before he was hit by a train last week. Bryce the eldest of her three sons was worried about his mom and brothers who were homeless and living out of a car at the time. She shared that her son appeared to be suffering from a mental health crisis in the last few days before he died.
“A few days ago, Bryce was talking crazy… He was happy though, he was talking about his future. He was talking about going to Georgia Tech,” she said through tears. “He had a lot of questions about spirituality and life. He kept asking if I was OK, if his brothers were going to be OK. I said, ‘yeah.’ We sat in the car all day… because we didn’t have anywhere to go,” she said. “He sat next to me just talking. I was stressed. I was too stressed to really deal with it. We were on the streets again, homeless. The little job I got wasn’t paying me my money on time or in full.”
She said her sons questions were stressing her out so much because she had just gotten her period, and her son’s piercing questions were giving her chest pains. She shared through devastated tears, “When he asked to hold my hand, I refused.” She told him to “toughen up” and “get it together.” She said his energy was so intense she could feel his pain and it was breaking her heart.
After Winelle picked up her son, Brayden, from work that night, the family went to their hotel room.She said she locked herself in the bathroom to take a break from Bryce’s intense questions. 30 minutes later, she emerged from the bathroom and asked Bryce to go to the car to get her favorite blanket.
When he didn’t return, she went out to look for him. Her blanket was gone from her car and Bryce was nowhere to be found. He left his cell phone, wallet and shoes in the hotel room. Later that morning, Winelle called her older brother, who told her someone was hit by a train at 4 a.m.
“I’ve been begging for help for months,” she cried. “For months, I’ve been begging for help.”
A recent study shows a dramatic increase in suicide deaths among Black adolescents and teenagers. From 1991 to 2017, suicide attempts among Black children and teens rose by 73%.
Watch his mother’s testimony below and to help someone suffering from mental health or suicidal thoughts call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
To donate to Shibbon Winelle and her remaining sons CLICK HERE