A woman whose daughter took her own life after being raped as a child has revealed she’s drawing comfort from the fact the 20-year-old saved four people’s lives, thanks to donating her organs.
Shannon Hackling was groomed and repeatedly raped by 19-year-old Barry Nash, who is now 28, when she was 12-year-old.
Nash was convicted of six counts of rape of a child under the age of 13, and was jailed for six years in 2014. His sentence was later increased to nine years by the Court of Appeal.
But Shannon never recovered from the toll the abuse took on her, and entered a spiral of self-harm, and took her own life in May 2022.
Following her daughter’s death last spring, her mother Tracey is raising awareness of organ donors and is campaigning for better mental health services for young people who have experienced trauma.
Shannon was groomed and repeatedly raped by 19-year-old Barry Nash, who is now 28, when she was 12 and never recovered from the toll the abuse took on her, and entered a spiral of self-harm. Pictured age 16
Following her daughter Shannon’s death last spring, Tracey Hackling, 49, from Norton, Worcestershire, is raising awareness of organ donors and is campaigning for better mental health services for young people who have experienced trauma
Following the 20-year-old’s death, a child received her heart. Her lungs are now breathing air for a lady who was running out of time, and a man who’d been waiting for over three years received one kidney and her pancreas.
Her other kidney went to a young man in his 20s who had been waiting over three years for a transplant.
Even her bones are being used for amputee patients while her blood and cells have gone to hundreds more.
Tracey said: ‘Knowing that my daughter lives on in other people is some consolation for losing her.
‘But the best for me was that Shan’s skin was donated to help burn victims feel beautiful again.
‘Although Shan had destroyed most of her skin from self-harm over the years, the surgeon said the skin on her back was beautiful and could be donated to help others.’
When Shannon was 12, she was groomed and raped by 19-year-old Barry Nash, now 28. He even gave her a STI.
‘One day I spotted Shan and Barry in town holding hands. He was the older brother of one of her friends,’ Tracey recounted.
Shannon pictured with her mother age three. Shannon was bullied in school and was haunted by the abuse, which caused her severe anxiety
Nash was convicted of six counts of rape of a child under the age of 13, and was jailed for six years in 2014. His sentence was later increased to nine years by the Court of Appeal
‘I told her to stop hanging around with him.
‘Another time I caught her in his car, and told him to stay away from her as she was only a child. But he told me he wasn’t doing anything wrong.’
Months later, Shannon confessed to her mum that she was in a relationship with Nash.
Tracey says: ‘I was horrified and told her she couldn’t see him anymore. But she refused, so I called the police.’
Officers arrived shortly after and asked Shannon about Nash.
‘Shan broke down, telling the police they’d been dating. One of the officers asked if she’d had sex with him,’ Tracey recounted.
‘She said he’d forced her to have sex. Then she admitted he’d raped her many times over the last six months. I felt sick.’
Afterwards Tracey took Shannon to the doctors. There she was prescribed antibiotics for an STD.
Meanwhile, Nash was arrested and interviewed where he admitted having sex with Shannon.
In August 2014, on Shannon’s 13th birthday, she gave a video statement where she revealed Nash had been buying her sweets and cuddly toys for months before raping her.
In December that year, Nash was convicted of six counts of rape of a child under the age of 13, and was jailed for six years.
Shannon, pictured age 18, never recovered from the abuse she went through as a child, and began to self harm in her tears
After years of struggling with her mental health, Shannon, who had several pets, ended her life. Her organs were donated to strangers. Pictured age 17
His sentence was later increased to nine years by the Court of Appeal.
But in the years following, animal lover Shannon suffered bullying at school, which added to her mental health issues.
‘The memories of the abuse haunted her, and the years of bullying, and victim blaming that followed saw her mental health deteriorate,’ Tracey said.
‘She would often skip school to avoid the torment or if she did go in, self -harm in the toilets or drink alcohol in class.’
When Shannon was 14, the school asked permission to exclude her.
‘After that, things got worse,’ Tracey admitted. ‘The self- harming got worse.’
When Shannon was 14, the school asked permission to exclude her, which only made matters worse, Tracey said. Pictured age 12
Tracey with Shannon when she was just two. The heartbroken mother found solace in the fact that her daughter donated her organs and skins to science
Tracey said she finds solace in the fact that her daughter’s saved others by donating her organs
Nash was arrested in 2013 and admitted to grooming and forcing himself on 12-year-old Shannon
Then, in September 2016, Tracey was warned, Nash was up for parole. Following the news, Shannon spiralled.
Later that month, Tracey found her daughter unconscious on the floor.
She was rushed via ambulance to Worcestershire Royal Hospital where her stomach was pumped.
Afterwards, Shannon was offered little help by mental health services. She was given medication and homeschooled.
When COVID-19 hit, and lockdown was imposed in March 2020, Shannon’s anxiety sky-rocketed.
‘Eventually, Shannon told me to just buy a coffin to put her in as she wanted to die,’ Tracey said.
‘I took her to our GP and she was referred to child mental health services. But they said she didn’t meet the criteria.’
Tragically, in April last year, Tracey found Shannon barely breathing in her bedroom.
Paramedics arrived and performed CPR, before her daughter was rushed to Worcestershire Royal Hospital where she was put in intensive care.
Five days later, Tracey was told there was limited activity on Shannon’s brain, so had the painful decision to turn Shannon’s life-support machine off.
Afterwards, she decided to donate her daughter’s organs to help others.
She says: ‘Shannon was failed by so many services. She suffered terribly and didn’t get the help she needed.
‘Ultimately, she couldn’t face life anymore. I miss her every day, but I’m glad part of her is living on in others.’
Tracey has a GoFundMe page to help towards costs to care for Shannon’s pets. You can donate here.