London Marathon: Veteran who served alongside Prince Harry describes the pain of losing his daughter to suicide

Trevor Bygate was 5,000 miles away serving in the Army when he got the call no one should ever receive – his daughter Chloe had taken her own life.

“It’s something no parent should ever experience,” he said of the 2014 incident.

Trevor was immediately flown back to the UK and signed off work for the next three months.

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He said: “It was incredibly hard to deal with but after three months I decided it was time to go back.”

He described Chloe’s ongoing mental health problems that the family had struggled to deal with.

Trevor with Chloe

She was under Children and Mental Health Services for a while and had self-harmed at times.

“I think about her a lot, I have extreme ups and down’s and it’s something that will stay with me forever,” said Trevor.

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Dad became obsessed with raising money to prevent suicide

In 2019, Trevor was signed off from work due to the complex PTSD following Chloe’s suicide.

He had been serving in the Army for 20 years and had been everywhere from Bosnia to Afghanistan.

Whilst serving in Afghanistan, he served alongside Prince Harry.

“I enjoyed it because I was working with helicopters,” he said.

“I do miss it, I miss the sergeant’s mess, I miss the functions and I miss my friends but I just couldn’t continue.”

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Trevor with Prince Harry in the army

He now takes medication to handle his condition but says the support he received from the Army following Chloe’s death was not great.

“The first three months whilst I was at home, I didn’t get much support,” said Trevor.

“Sure, I got a lot of counselling but it was incredibly draining but it was one counselling session after another after another and it wasn’t working for me.

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“I’ve read on social media that things are better within the Army when it comes to mental health so maybe things have changed.”

Following Chloe’s death, Trevor became engrossed in setting himself challenges and raising money for the prevention of suicide amongst young people.

Now working for the UK Border Force, he has cycled across the country, ran multiple marathons, and completed a 24-hour cycle challenge.

This Sunday (October 3), he’s running the London Marathon in memory of Chloe and raising money for PAPYRUS.

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Trevor raising money for the Royal British Legion

Suicide is the biggest killer of young people under the age of 35 and Papyrus works to bring awareness and support families who have lost loved ones.

“I’ve got a lock of her hair which I carry with me and it’ll be with me on Sunday reminding me that I’ve got a purpose,” said Trevor.

When asked what time he wants to complete it in, he said he’s just focused on finishing it.

This will be the first marathon he’s run since he was diagnosed with complex PTSD but he says the support he’s received from people on social media and from PAPYRUS has kept him going.

You can donate to Trevor’s fundraiser here.

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