Family's desperate bid to bring son's body home

A ROCKHAMPTON family is appealing for help after being left devastated by news of the death of their son in China.

On July 10, Adam John Warner's mother Margaret, 63, received a call from his boss with news that no parent should have to hear.

After living in China for more than 16 years - the last eight years as a highly regarded employee with Hilton Hotels in Guangzhou and Shenzhen - Adam, lost his battle with depression and took his life at 40.

"Adam had taken his own life far away from us and his older brother. Our experience since then can only be truly understood by someone who has been in a similar situation of loss," Mrs Warner said.

FUND RAISING: Rockhampton's Warner family are desperately trying to raise the money to bring their youngest son Adam's body home from China.
FUND RAISING: Rockhampton's Warner family are desperately trying to raise the money to bring their youngest son Adam's body home from China. Contributed

"Adam was a bright and gregarious man who made good friends wherever he went. We were in regular contact with Adam, however his upbeat conversation with us and online hid the fact that he was also struggling with depression.

"Over the past week our family and friends, as well as staff at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Adam's employer, have been most supportive. Our situation now is that we need to bring Adam home to say our farewells; and the cost of this is beyond our resources."

Speaking on their GoFundMe page, Mrs Warner said they were seeking help in raising funds to cover the cost of repatriation to Australia ($15,000), transport to Rockhampton ($1000), and a portion of service costs ($2000) - for a total cost of $18,000.

Over the past five days, the Warner's GoFundMe has raised $15,297 from 187 donations - in sight of the $18,000 goal.

"John, Margaret and Justin deeply appreciate your support with this appeal. Should your generous support exceed the target set, we intend to apportion any additional funds equally to Beyond Blue and the Black Dog Institute to support their work in combating mental illness," Mrs Warner said.

The Warners kept in regular contact with Adam and enjoyed a holiday with him during a visit to Hong Kong and South-East Asia in late 2018.

Mrs Warner said they were aware Adam had struggled with depression over the past 10 years, however Adam seemed better after receiving professional help during that time.

Adam's partner of two years, Wu Can Tao, said he hid his depression from people.

"Adam told me he wanted to travel the world with me; we would do stupid things and laugh about it. I miss him so much," his partner said.

The Warner family wanted to share Adam's story to help others suffering depression and to help remove the stigma attached to mental illness.

According to Lifeline, the suicide rate for males is three times higher than females and for every death by suicide, approximately as many as 30 people attempt suicide.

Visit: www.gofundme.com/agarev-bring-adam-home.

If you or someone you know needs help, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit or lifeline.org.au or text 0477 13 11 14.

Lifeline Text is available 6.00pm - 10.00pm (AEST), 7 days a week.

Other online help resources:

www.beyondblue.org.au

headspace.org.au

www.blackdoginstitute.org.au

www.mensline.org.au

www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au