News, Culture & Society

Queensland dad forced to tell his three-year-old daughter her mum took her own life 

A grieving father has opened up about the heartbreaking moment he had to tell his three-year-old daughter her mother had taken her own life. 

Joel Jenny, 32, from Mackay, Queensland, had been looking after his daughter Macy when he got a phone call that changed their lives forever.

His former partner, Beajay Phillips, 25, had killed herself just days ago. 

Sharing the tragic news with their young daughter was the hardest thing he has ever had to do in his life, he told Daily Mail Australia.

Beajay Phillips, 25, (pictured with her daughter Macy) died on Monday, October 7. Her life support was switched off

Joel Jenny, 32, (pictured left) from Mackay, Queensland, had been looking after his daughter Macy (centre) when he got a phone call that changed their lives forever (Beajay Phillips pictured right)

Joel Jenny, 32, (pictured left) from Mackay, Queensland, had been looking after his daughter Macy (centre) when he got a phone call that changed their lives forever (Beajay Phillips pictured right)

Ms Phillips was a bubbly, friendly and outgoing young mother who worked as a nurse at an aged care facility. 

The pair, who had been in a relationship but split up after being together for seven years, spoke every day. Mr Jenny said he had no idea she had been struggling. 

He had spoken to her hours before the harrowing call on September 29 came through and she seemed fine, he said.

Mr Jenny had been looking after Macy at his parents house at the time. Macy had been unwell and spent most of the night throwing up. 

‘I was on the phone with Beajay until probably about 11 or 11.30 that night. She seemed fine and was helping me put Macy to sleep,’ he said.

Macy was sick again at about 2am, which was when his phone began to flash.

Beajay Phillips, 25, has been remembered as a bubbly, outgoing and friend person who was always helping others

Beajay Phillips, 25, has been remembered as a bubbly, outgoing and friend person who was always helping others

Mr Jenny was forced to tell his three-year-old daughter Macy (pictured) her mum had died

Mr Jenny was forced to tell his three-year-old daughter Macy (pictured) her mum had died

Her housemate was calling. Beajay had killed herself.

‘It was terrifying, it was not something you can prepare yourself to hear. I was speaking to her two hours earlier. And she was perfectly fine. I was just in shock.’

He left Macy with his parents and raced over to Beajay’s house.

Paramedics were there and had managed to bring her back to life on the way to the hospital. She was then put on life support. 

The following week was horrific, he said.

‘I’ve never experienced anything like that in my life. She went into full body seizures, which was very difficult to see.

‘She was breathing by herself and her heart and everything was working by itself but over the next couple of days she deteriorated.’

Ms Jenny was an 'unreal mother', who was always putting her daughter's needs ahead of her own

Ms Jenny was an ‘unreal mother’, who was always putting her daughter’s needs ahead of her own

Macy has still struggles to comprehend what has happened. 'Her whole life has changed in the matter of three weeks. She's gone from seeing dad every second weekend to being with me full time'

Macy has still struggles to comprehend what has happened. ‘Her whole life has changed in the matter of three weeks. She’s gone from seeing dad every second weekend to being with me full time’

After a series of tests, doctors deemed the damage too severe – she was brain dead.

Family and friends were advised to say their final goodbyes ahead of her life support being turned off. 

Mr Jenny was then forced to explain to his daughter what was going on. 

‘My daughter started to ask questions like “where’s mummy?” and stuff like that. I’d kind of just change the subject until I had further information.

‘By the end of it I just couldn’t live with the guilt of not telling her what was going on.

‘I took her to a quiet area and told her, and my mum helped me with that, and just explained it to her the best I could in her language. 

‘It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life and was so heartbreaking. Being three she doesn’t fully comprehend it.’

He then had the option of taking Macy to say goodbye to her mum in person, which he was hesitant to do as he didn’t want to upset her. 

But after getting more advice from nurses and healthcare workers he came around to the idea.

‘I don’t think I could’ve lived with the guilt for the rest of my life of not giving her the opportunity to say goodbye.’

Mr Jenny was then forced to explain to his daughter what was going on. 'My daughter started to ask questions like 'where's mummy?' and stuff like that. I'd kind of just change the subject until I had further information. 'By the end of it I just couldn't live with the guilt of not telling her what was going on

Mr Jenny was then forced to explain to his daughter what was going on. ‘My daughter started to ask questions like ‘where’s mummy?’ and stuff like that. I’d kind of just change the subject until I had further information. ‘By the end of it I just couldn’t live with the guilt of not telling her what was going on

Mr Jenny urged others to be kind to others as you never know what others are going through

Mr Jenny urged others to be kind to others as you never know what others are going through

Ms Phillips life support was turned off on Monday, October, 7.  Her organs were donated, which Mr jenny said had helped make experience more bearable – knowing Ms Phillips had helped save lives.

The past few weeks have been challenging for the family. 

Macy has still struggles to comprehend what has happened.

‘Her whole life has changed in the matter of three weeks. She’s gone from seeing dad every second weekend to being with me full time. 

‘There’s been a couple of nights she’s woken up in screams – screaming out for her mother. That’s been so heartbreaking, you try your best to be there for them but they don’t want that.’

He said they have been taking things a day at a time.

‘You can’t prepare yourself for this, no one can. She was the most happy, outgoing person. Everyone has their issues and I would never expect her to not speak about it. We would always turn to each other in our darkest times. 

He has urged others to be kind to each other as you never know what others are going through. 

A friend has set up a GoFundMe page to assist the family.  

For confidential support call Lifeline 24-hour crisis support on 13 11 14.

 

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk