A Canadian CEO is mourning the loss of his daughter who died by suicide after living with Lyme disease.
Alain Champagne — the President and Chief Executive Officer of Le Groupe Maurice — shared via LinkedIn that his daughter Amelie “took her own life.” She was 22.
“To my LinkedIn community … while I never do personal posts, I wanted to share this … It is with the heaviest of hearts (and still in shock) that I share the tragic news that our sweetheart Amelie (22) took her own life this past Sunday,” Alain wrote earlier this month.
He added that although “Every day is extremely difficult but Joanne, Mathieu (19) and I are leaning on each other along with her boyfriend Nic.”
Opening up about the health issues his daughter had faced, the executive continued, “We were witnesses as to how challenging life had become for her in dealing with the evolving Lyme disease symptoms.”
After years of trying to find a diagnosis for Amelie they finally got a positive test in America this past June but, the heartbroken father said, it came too late and the disease had already taken its toll.
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“Over time and despite the recent treatments, the disease had evolved way beyond the numerous physical symptoms and was now severely impacting her brain),” he wrote.
He shared that the disease had “hijacked” his daughter whom he described as being “so courageous” in her fight.
“We are confident she is now in peace and that her spirit is shining bright upon the large number of people she touched over her short stay with us.”
Speaking to her loving personality, Alain said Amelie “left a long-lasting impression through her engaging and empathetic personality.”
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In spite of her challenges, Amelie “persevered” through college, worked at a facility for handicapped children and had begun doing volunteer work at a local homeless shelter “and remained ever the vibrant/fun-loving friend and member of our family.”
The mourning father went on to praise Amelie’s “resilience and continued optimism she displayed while dealing with the ever increasing symptoms was and remains my main source of inspiration.”
“Despite the fact that every breath and every moment is painful at this stage, in her honor we will try to keep living our lives with the same altitude she lived hers.”
Continued Alain: “A long road lies in front of us (every day)…We are hopeful [that] Amelie is now in a position to help guide and support us through it.”
RELATED VIDEO: Trista and Ryan Sutter Open Up About His Battle with Lyme Disease: ‘It Took Over My Life’
He concluded by sending a message to Amelie, writing, “We will love you forever, and cherish every memory of our wonderful time together. You made us all better people. It’s now up to us to rise up to the challenge… Take care everyone.”
He signed the post by her family and boyfriend.
Lyme disease is a potentially debilitating infection caused by bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi and sometimes Borrelia mayonii, and is transmitted through the bite of an infected blacklegged tick.
While Lyme can be easily treated for some people, for others the disease can cause long-term health issues.
According to the CDC, symptoms can include fever, headache, fatigue, and a rash called erythema migrans. However, if left untreated, the infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988, text “STRENGTH” to the Crisis Text Line at 741741 or go to 988lifeline.org.
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