West Lothian mum is heartbroken as her teenage daughter takes her own life due to her father’s abuse
A West Lothian mother has spoken of the devastating loss of her teenage daughter after she took her own life.
Megan Reid, of Livingston, was just 17 when she died, after long-standing sexual abuse at the hands of her father, Joseph McGinn.
Speaking this week, Megan’s mum Gemma McKeown said she was finally told the truth about what happened on Mother’s Day 2018 when Megan was just 13 .
Beginning when Megan was just four years old, the abuse had gone on for years, with McGinn eventually being jailed for his crimes in 2019.
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Addressing the Record Of the moment Megan opened up to her, Gemma, 34, said: “I felt like my whole world had crashed down on me.
“I went into total shock. It was terrible.
“I collapsed, I was sick. I picked up the phone straight away and reported it to the police.
“I was on my hands and knees yelling at them on the phone.”
McGinn was found guilty of sexually assaulting Megan by Glasgow High Court on October 17, 2019 and sentenced to 18 years.
But Gemma said that despite her conviction, her daughter was so ‘broken’ by the abuse she suffered that she could never come to terms with what she had gone through.
The distraught mum also told how Megan was ‘crushed’ by the backlash from some extended family members who called the teenager a ‘liar’.
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Gemma continued: “Megan was a good girl, but what happened to her left her crushed and broken.
“Knowing that some people didn’t believe her left her feeling betrayed and abandoned.
“She was lying in bed crying. She was self-harming and she was suicidal most of the time.
“She was drinking to try and block it all out, but she couldn’t. Everyday life was too much for her.
“All she wanted was to die.”
Gemma, described Megan as a “bright, bubbly and intelligent” child who was her mother’s “best friend”.
She even shared how Megan loved her mother so much that she begged her not to blame herself in her heartbreaking last words, written in a suicide note.
Gemma said: “Megan was my favorite person on the planet. She was the reason I breathed. My best friend, my mini me, my everything.
“In her final note, she told me she loved me and told me not to blame me, but I’m destroyed.”
Gemma said Celtic fan Megan had always dreamed of becoming a carpenter and hopes that by sharing her story she can help save at least one other youngster by encouraging those living with trauma to keep going and ask for help. helping their loved ones.
“Megan had so much to live for and more support than she could have ever imagined,” Gemma added.
“I always wanted her to be open about her mental health and told her we could get through this together. Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough, but I want to help prevent other people from going through this. same as her.
“My advice is you are never alone, please always talk, go see someone and someone will listen to you.
“Please don’t leave your parents without you. Their lives will never be the same again.”
Since Megan’s passing, tributes have poured in, including from Celtic Football Club who applauded the late teenager ahead of kick-off against St Johnstone on April 9.
A rally is also planned at Polson Park, Tranent, on April 23, where friends and family will launch sky lanterns and balloons in his memory.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Megan’s family with funeral costs and other expenses.
So far it has reached an incredible £3,820.
If you would like to donate to Megan’s fundraiser, click here.