Father speaks out about son's attempted suicide

Posted at: 07/15/2013 10:05 PM | Updated at: 07/15/2013 10:16 PM
By: Chris Ramirez, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Carlos Vigil

Reporter Notebook:  I found it hard writing this story about Carlos Vigil.  A friend of Carlos called me early Monday morning to tell me about what happened.  Later in the afternoon, Carlos’ story had spread and the newsroom decided that I should cover what happened for our 10 p.m. newscast. 

Carlos’ brother and father spoke to us outside of UNM Hospital and in tearful interviews told us about the torment he had been going through. 

"We found out three years ago that he was going through this stuff and we've been trying to help him every day since," Carlos' father, Ray Vigil, said. "We realize he's been going through it every day since he was in the third grade, that's a long time for a child to hold that within himself."

Ray Vigil said his son had been teased for being gay, for having acne, for a having a lazy eye, and for being slightly overweight. Carlos had a difficult time dealing with the constant teasing. 

Ironically, even though Carlos was dealing with his internal struggles, he always tried helping other bullying victims.  His father said he had just returned from North Carolina where he was lobbying an anti-bullying bill in their state legislature.  Carlos also counseled other teens and helped them cope with their bullying. 

Carlos always wanted to help other people, but perhaps his father said it best when he told us, "Carlos wanted to be accepted by all, when he only needed to be accepted by himself."

Carlos' organs will be donated. Carlos wanted it that way so that he could continue helping people, even in death.

Carlos wrote a note on his Twitter account before he took his own life.  His mother requested we not share it and, as a newsroom, we decided to honor her wishes.  

We have been asked to share some information with our viewers:

There is a memorial fund set up for Carlos at U.S New Mexico Federal Credit Union, account number 6082606.

Warning Signs for Suicide

Up to 90% of people show risk factors or warning signs, such as:

  • Depressed mood
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in usual activities
  • Change in appetite or weight
  • Change in sleeping patterns
  • Speaking and/or moving with unusual speed or slowness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in usual activities
  • Decrease in sexual drive
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Feelings of worthlessness, self-reproach or guilt
  • Diminished ability to think or concentrate, slowed thinking or indecisiveness
  • Thoughts of death, suicide, or wishes to be dead

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

The New Mexico Suicide Prevention Coalition provide free training to teach people the warning signs for suicide, and how to intervene.  You can find more information on their website at www.nmsuicideprevention.org or call them at 505-401-9382.


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