Care home worker, 22, traumatised by having to wash dead bodies of residents throughout Covid pandemic takes her own life
- Taylor Watterson from Ayrshire ‘lost count’ of the number of bodies she washed
- She tried to get help from her local GP for her mental health prior to her death
- Taylor’s family are now fundraising to get more support for bereaved families
A 22-year-old care home worker from Aryshire who worked throughout the pandemic and took her own life just six days before Christmas was left ‘traumatised’ by having to wash dead bodies, her parents say.
Taylor Watterson worked in Fullarton Care Home, in Irvine, and Shalom Care Home, in Dreghorn.
She started working in the care industry when she was just 17 – and tragically took her own life on December 19 of last year.
Taylor’s parents, Andi and Lana McCleave, said her job ‘had a lot to do with her mental health’ according to the Daily Record.
But in a statement on Facebook this morning, Lana was clear that although the difficulties of care work during the pandemic did impact her daughter’s mental health, it was not for because of her work that she took her own life.
The statement from her family said although Taylor was impacted by her experiences during the pandemic, she had also had mental health issues before starting to work in care.
The social media post added: ‘She loved her job and would speak fondly of her residents while working in the industry.’
Taylor took her own life just six days before Christmas last year after struggling with her mental health – she had also had mental health issues before she started working in care
Taylor’s mother, Lana McCleave (left), wrote on Facebook in February this year: ‘Our wee family have been overwhelmed with support from our family, friends and our workplaces since the tragic loss of our beautiful daughter Taylor’
Beautiful Inside & Out – a charity which supports bereaved families – posted these pictures of Taylor and her family
Taylor had ‘lost count’ of the number of dead bodies of residents she washed who tragically died during the pandemic, Lana told the Record.
She added: ‘I couldn’t believe it when she said it.
‘She was just a young girl and was having to do it regularly.
‘Doing that over and over again and seeing residents she was close to regularly passing away was hard for her to take.’
Taylor tried to seek help by getting in touch with her GP prior to her death and was prescribed medication to help with her mental health.
But she took her own life just a few days before Christmas, leaving her family heartbroken.
Taylor’s mother, Lana McCleave, wrote on Facebook in February this year: ‘Our wee family have been overwhelmed with support from our family, friends and our workplaces since the tragic loss of our beautiful daughter Taylor.
‘We will never as a family get over this however tomorrow is the day my life begins all over again.
‘Let’s raise awareness as it’s much needed not just in our community but all over the country.
‘Local charities have been inundated with requests for support from GPs, NHS, Schools even police Scotland.’
Since Taylor’s death, Andi and Lana have been tirelessly fundraising for more support for grieving families.
Taylor, 22, ‘loved her job’ and formed a real attachment to her residents – making their deaths during the pandemic difficult to deal with, her mum said today
The family have donated £1,200 to Beautiful Inside & Out, a mental health charity based in Kilmarnock which offers counselling to bereaved families.
Lana’s employer, Confida FM, also donated £1,000 to the charity.
Lana said: ‘Helping others is what’s keeping us going. We don’t want other people in this position.’
‘It’s hard enough for us to get out of bed in the morning, but we want to dedicate as much time as we can to this and raising awareness,’ Andi told the Daily Record.
He added: ‘We will do as much as we can to stop one other family going through this, If we can help one person it’s been worth it. We were lucky we had a great support network around us to help.’
He added: ‘When suicide happens, it’s not just the loss of that person – everybody round about is affected.
‘There’s very little help for the individual and there’s no help for families, and that’s what we are trying to change. We need to try and get more help for people.’
Andi and Lana have set up a GoFundMe page to raise money ahead of a sponsored climb of Goatfell, a mountain on the Isle of Arran.
The GoFundMe has raised more than £500 so far, with all money set to go to Beautiful Inside & Out.