The mom of Georgia Tech football recruit who recently died by suicide earlier in the week addressed the tragedy via a tearful video, recalling how her “happy” son was while within the throes of mental and emotional anguish.
Bryce Gowdy, 17, was just every week faraway from starting classes at the Atlanta university when he took his life by jumping ahead of a rattler in his hometown of Deerfield Beach, Florida, Monday. What was initially thought to be a freak accident was later ruled a suicide?
In a video posted to YouTube on Tuesday, the teenager’s mother, Shibbon Winelle, said her son was excited about getting to play football at Tech but recently opened to her about mental issues he was facing. A tearful Winelle said Gowdy had been “talking crazy” lately and describing the “signs and symbols” he saw.
“I knew in my heart he wasn’t [ok],” she said within the video. “He was talking in a circle. the items he had to ascertain me undergo because we were homeless.”
The mother of three explained that her family had fallen on adversity and was struggling financially. On the day of Gowdy’s suicide, Winelle said she and her kids were staying at a motel because that they had nowhere else to travel.
“I was stressed,” she continued. “I was too stressed to actually affect it. We were on the streets again, homeless. the small job I got wasn’t paying me my money on time or fully. I used to be so stressed about taking care of my kids.”
In the days before his death, the standout athlete began asking heavy questions on life and spirituality, consistent with his mother. She said Gowdy told her he was “starting to ascertain the planet for what it really is.”
“He was happy though … he was talking about his future,” Winelle added through sobs. “He was talking about getting to Georgia Tech. He had tons of questions on spirituality and life. He kept asking if I used to be OK, And if his brothers were getting to be OK. I said, ‘yeah.’”
Thomas Gowdy, the teen’s uncle, recently told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that his nephew was nervous about departure and leaving his siblings in an unstable environment.
“He was a touch stressed having the load of the planet on his shoulders by going,” Thomas Gowdy explained.
ESPN reports that the 17-year-old four-star receiver recruit out of Deerfield Beach was considered one among the top-rated players coming into Tech as a part of the No. 25-ranked class within the nation. He reportedly bound up his highschool classes a semester early so he could join the Yellow Jackets family on Monday, consistent with the university.
Well, who was handling her own emotional issues, said she noticed a change in her son but told him to “toughen up” and “dig within” to fight his demons. it had been so overwhelming she began experiencing chest pains, and her eldest tried comforting her as she sat within the car outside the motel.
“Bryce sat with me. He tried to carry my hand,” she recalled. “I wouldn’t let him hold my hand because his energy was so intense. I could feel the pain in his soul and it had been breaking my heart.”
Later that night after checking into their room, Winelle said she asked the teenager to fetch her favorite blanket from the car. Twenty minutes passed and his mom grew worried but figured he’d be back since he’d left his wallet, phone, and shoes behind.
Gowdy never returned.
Winelle would later receive a call about someone killed near a rattler around 4 a.m. it had been her son.
“In my heart, I knew it had been my baby,” she said, through sobs. “My baby walked ahead of a train.”
As the video ends, Winelle says that she had been “begging for help” for months but nothing had come through. A GoFundMe page found out to assist the family has since raised quite $100,000.