Straight A student, 15, obsessed with revising killed himself ‘over exam stress’
A mum has spoken out about her son’s death and revealed she believes he was driven to suicide by his GCSE exam stress.
Daniel Long was an A* student but became obsessed with revising for his GCSEs, even though his exams were months away.
His heartbroken mum Emma Oliver, 43, has described the agonising moment that she found him on the brink of death on February 26.
Emma, of Gildersome, Leeds, West Yorkshire, said she went to check on Daniel at about 2pm and asked how he was doing, before going back to cooking the Sunday lunch.
She said: ‘But 20 minutes later, I heard a loud bang and ran upstairs, where I saw my boy had tried to take his own life.
‘Screaming, I went to get my neighbour and then I performed CPR while she rang 999.’
Daniel was rushed to Leeds General Infirmary, but two days later doctors told his devastated family that he was brain dead.
Emma revealed that Daniel would spend four hours studying every night and kept telling his mum that he would forget everything.
Teachers at Bruntcliffe Academy in Morley, Leeds, also checked in on the aspiring lawyer, but he continued to be obsessed with revising.
Emma said he went from a ‘cheeky chap’ to stressed in January, despite his mother reminding him he wouldn’t sit his GCSEs until June.
She said: ‘He was revising at the table all the time. I’d say to him, ‘Why don’t you have a break?’ But he’d just shout at me, ‘You don’t understand, I won’t remember it.’
‘With my daughter, Chelsea, I’d have to tell her to revise, but with Daniel I’d say, ‘stop revising’.’
Daniel even went to school during half term for extra tuition.
An inquest into his death, held at Wakefield Coroner’s Court on September 1, recorded a verdict of suicide.
Emma said: ‘He was 15 years old and we lost him because of the pressure of his exams. I don’t blame the school, I know the pressures they were under, but I feel let down.’
She has started an online mental health awareness group called Team Daniel, and urged stressed teenagers to say something.
And in a message to parents, she added: ‘You have to get them away from the table they are revising at. Do everything you can.’
Adam Ryder, principal at Bruntcliffe Academy, said: ‘All of us at Bruntcliffe Academy had immense regard for Daniel. None of us really know what was in Daniel’s mind when he took his own life in February.
‘What we do know is that his loss was felt profoundly across our whole school community, and that if we can play any part in helping to ensure that young people are able to cope better with all the pressures that life can bring then we will be very keen to be involved.
‘Our support for Daniel’s family in this most important work is unreserved.’