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Heartbroken parents of son found dead at 21 fear he had 'autistic burnout'

NewsHeartbroken parents of son found dead at 21 fear he had 'autistic burnout'

The heartbroken parents of a  “beloved, adorable, darling, extraordinary, very special son” who was found hanging last year have urged others with suicidal thoughts to seek help. 

Theresa and Tom Bailey spoke out after an inquest began into the death of their 21-year old son, Malachi Bailey, who passed away in tragic cicumstances on November 3. 

Along with their daughter Hannah the couple want to raise awareness of help available from medical and educational professionals as well as charities including Samaritans. 

Malachi had lived in Llanteg, Pemobrokeshire with his parents after they had all spent 10 years in the United Arab Emirates.

His death came just a month after he’d moved to his own place, meanwhile. 

Malachi was working with the “utmost devotion and diligence” as a carer at Blaenmarlais Carehome in Narberth when he died, reports WalesOnline. 

He was also a volunteer with the British Red Cross, as well as giving his time to a local school, church and foodbank. 

An inquest held at Haverfordwest County Hall on Thursday (May 25), meanwhile, heard he had been diagnosed with ADHD in 2008 followed by autism some seven years later. 

Paying tribute to their son his parents said: “Malachi was uniquely himself but he was diagnosed with autism when he was 15 years old. He had educational needs and was well supported by the local schools he attended. He was loved by his teachers and learning support professionals not because he was a high academic achiever but because he was kind, gentle, generous, helpful, and always tried his best.

“Malachi pushed himself and did things outside his comfort zone. He pushed himself through and beyond his anxieties believing that when he did so he would be even happier and more independent.”

The coroner’s assistant, Carrie Sheridan, read a report at the inquest which revealed Malachi had become “quite anxious at times working towards the level two qualification” of his adult social care qualification. 

In the final weeks of his life he was sending multiple emails a day, with the last expressing his frustration about the lack of progress in his training and that he wasn’t doing so well. 

After informing his training providers that he wouldn’t be ttending a meeting on November 3, he completed a shift at 10.30pm the night before in his typically “work-focused and happy” approach. Malachi then phoned his parents that evening and sounded “positive and upbeat”, telling he had plans which he planned to reveal the next day. 

That next day arrived, however, and he didn’t answer his phone or his door. That led to his parents seeking a locksmith to help access his property, where he was found just after 3pm. A subsequent post-mortem examination gave the cause of death as hanging.

The devastated family said: “Malachi lived for what he loved, Malachi loved what he lived for. Perhaps he experienced autistic burnout due to the intense physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion caused by trying to live in our world? What we know with absolute certainty is we loved Malachi and he loved us. We shared love with Malachi, we did love with Malachi, we talked love with Malachi, we were love for Malachi.”

His parents have now asked for the inquest to be adjourned to allow his two phones to be analysed forensically by police in case they held evidence about his state of mind in his final days. They said: “We have to find out as much as we can and follow the trail as a family.”

Senior coroner Paul Bennett duly obliged to allow for the “analysis of the digital devices which will give some indication about the circumstances of Malachi Bailey’s death”. 

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