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Family’s heartbreak as Kayden, 14, tragically takes own life a year after mum’s death

PUBLISHED: 16:37 29 July 2020 | UPDATED: 17:19 29 July 2020

Kayden Cantlow (left) with his mum Michelle and his brother Francis. Picture: CANTLOW FAMILY

Kayden Cantlow (left) with his mum Michelle and his brother Francis. Picture: CANTLOW FAMILY

CANTLOW FAMILY

The family of a 14-year-old boy who tragically took his own life after struggling to deal with his mother’s death have vowed to “make it normal” for boys to talk about mental health to help prevent future tragedies.

Kayden Cantlow, 14, who died after being hit by a train in Colchester a year after the death of his mum Michelle. Picture: CANTLOW FAMILYKayden Cantlow, 14, who died after being hit by a train in Colchester a year after the death of his mum Michelle. Picture: CANTLOW FAMILY

Kayden Cantlow died after being hit by a train near Colchester on Wednesday, July 22 - just days after the first anniversary of his mother Michelle’s death from cancer.

Incredibly close to his mum, who left behind her six children and husband Vinny, Kayden’s brother Francis said her death “hit him hard” - but that he “always put others first” and didn’t speak about his emotions.

Francis, 17, now says the family will campaign to prevent further tragedies, saying: “I want to make it normal for men to talk about their mental health.”

He is also due to meet with Colchester MP Will Quince to discuss improvements to the section of railway line where Kayden died, to prevent further tragedies - and campaign for information boards with Samaritans contact details, to help those who might be feeling low.

From left to right, Kayden, Vinny and Francis Cantlow on a Remembrance Day. Picture: CANTLOW FAMILYFrom left to right, Kayden, Vinny and Francis Cantlow on a Remembrance Day. Picture: CANTLOW FAMILY

“Kayden was a mummy’s boy,” he said. “They were inseparable and they did everything together. Her death hit him hard.”

“We had no idea he was feeling this way and wanted to take his own life. He was quiet, but he was always smiling and giggling and used to play the Xbox with his friends all the time.

“The world views men as strong and not having any feelings. But there are always people out there to talk to, you are not alone.

“If you keep things bottled up then eventually it will explode.

The family of Kayden Cantlow, 14, who died last week, are raising awareness of men's mental health and suicide prevention. Picture: CANTLOW FAMILYThe family of Kayden Cantlow, 14, who died last week, are raising awareness of men's mental health and suicide prevention. Picture: CANTLOW FAMILY

“You can’t keep putting things into an already full bottle.”

Kayden, who went to Colchester’s Gilberd School, had a bright future ahead of him and dreamed of having a career in pottery.

He was a big Liverpool Football Club fan and was “very hands on”, enjoying woodwork at school.

His school teachers said he was very “popular” and had a big, supportive friendship group.

Michelle Cantlow, who died in 2019 after suffering from stage four cancer and her husband Vince Cantlow. Picture: CANTLOW FAMILYMichelle Cantlow, who died in 2019 after suffering from stage four cancer and her husband Vince Cantlow. Picture: CANTLOW FAMILY

Kayden’s sister Sapphire is also hosting a charity walk at Clacton Pier on August 12, raising money for the Suicide Prevention charity.

You can sign Francis’ petition for improvements to the bridge here.

• Anyone needing help or support should call Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust’s First Response helpline 0808 196 3494 or the Samaritans on 116 123. Both services are available 24 hours, seven days a week. The Stay Alive app on Apple & Android is available to download.

Tributes have been paid to Kayden, 14, who tragically died on Wednesday, July 22. Picture: ARCHANTTributes have been paid to Kayden, 14, who tragically died on Wednesday, July 22. Picture: ARCHANT

Flowers and messages have been left in tribute to Kayden Cantlow, 14, at the railway track in Colchester. Picture: ARCHANTFlowers and messages have been left in tribute to Kayden Cantlow, 14, at the railway track in Colchester. Picture: ARCHANT


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