Llanelli daughter's charity pledge in memory of 'amazing' mum
A TEENAGE girl has vowed to turn tragedy into hope in memory of her "mother, friend and sidekick".
Fern Holmes, 19, was devastated when her mum Sarah was found dead after apparently falling from Llanelli's multi-storey car park.
But she has now opened up to the Star about her plans to use her tragic loss to benefit others suffering with mental health issues like her mum's.
The art student said: "My mum was the best possible person there could be, as well as a mother, a friend and a sidekick.
"I'd do anything to have her back, to hear her voice, see her smile, to hug her again."
"She always had mental health problems with depression and bipolar," added Fern. "I'm hoping to reduce the amount of discrimination and reduce the taboo of mental health.
"I want my mum to be remembered as the amazing woman she was and not by what she did when depression took over her mind and body.
"She was kind to everyone, immensely talented in her artwork and a passionate charity volunteer."
Fern set out on a fundraising challenge after she began following mental health charity Mind on social networking site Twitter.
She noticed a tweet about a charity sky dive, set to take place in May and despite having never been on an aeroplane, she signed up.
"I made a promise on my mum's funeral to always make her proud and never let anyone suffer alone," she said.
"This is partly why I've decided to go into charity fundraising, to help and give back to a charity that has given advice and support in the hardest times of my life."
Before her death, Ms Holmes, 41, volunteered for around two years with Links — a Llanelli mental health support group.
Charity co-ordinator Susie Hamill said: "On behalf of everybody at Links — we really miss Sarah.
"I'm really impressed that Fern is taking this step, I think it's a very brave thing she is doing."
Members at Links are also planning to create a memorial garden at the centre, which will be dedicated to Ms Holmes.
After setting up an online fundraising page, Fern raised £130 overnight in donations.
She has raised £245 so far, but hopes to reach at least £1,000 with every penny going to Mind.
"Mental health isn't easy to deal with, just like any other illness, but there's no reason for people to feel ashamed or that they can't share their worries," said Fern, of Carmarthen.
"Suicide is a tough subject, but it does happen. Some people it has happened to in their families feel a bit ashamed, but I don't feel like that — I think of her as she was, not by what happened."
To help Fern in her fundraising for Mind, you can donate online at www.doitforcharity.com/FernH