Inspiring teenager driven to brink of suicide after brutal rape saves the lives of 8 people by posting ‘notes of hope’ on bridge

The 18-year-old has been plagued by depression and PTSD for years, after being raped by a stranger.

She was just 14 years old when she was attacked walking home from a friend's house.

It was a brutal act, that caused her life to spiral out of control, driving her to the brink of suicide.

But, the inspiring teenager has managed to pull herself back from the edge of despair.

And she has turned her agonising experience into a force for good, writing "notes of hope" and attaching them to Wearmouth Bridge in Sunderland.

Her aim? To show other people who feel like they are at rock bottom that there is hope, there is a way out.

Since posting the messages on the bridge, Paige has saved the lives of at least eight people.

The 18-year-old, from Sunderland, said: "I was raped at 14 and from that I had developed PTSD and depression.

"It was terrifying because I didn't tell anyone for six months.

"I eventually confessed to one of my teachers who told me to phone the police.

"I was having constant flash backs, sometimes up to 70 times a week.

"I got to the point where I couldn't deal with it anymore so I went to the bridge and debated if my life was worth living.

I got to the point where I couldn’t deal with it anymore so I went to the bridge and debated if my life was worth living

"I just remember standing on the other side of the railings and I had the loneliest feeling – it is hard to describe."

Paige was only standing on the edge of the bridge for five minutes, but said it felt like much longer.

Two people in a van stopped nearby, and talked her down.

"They told me I was worth a lot more than what I was going to do," Paige said.

"They called the police and stopped with me until they arrived.

"I am so thankful to them."

Paige said she's not had the chance to meet the two men who stopped to save her, but said she would love to thank them in person.

She said she came up with the idea to write the notes after seeing something similar on social media.

The teenager spends three days writing the notes, and it takes her more than three hours to tie them all to the bridge.


So far she's written 240 notes, but adds more every month.

"I just really wanted to stop other people from having that lonely feeling," Paige said.

"I am truly overwhelmed by the response my little messages have gotten, it is unbelievable.

"The Wearmouth Bridge is a notorious spot.

"Since attaching the notes, six people have posted on Facebook saying that they stopped them from taking their lives.

"A further two have got in touch directly.

"It is very emotional to know that I have made a real difference.

"I just want to encourage people to talk, and want to show people that they are not alone."

Paige has vowed to continue to hang the notes on the bridge, and has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for the Sunderland branch of the mental health charity Mind.

If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts or mental health issues, or someone you know is, call the Samaritans free of charge on 116 123 



 

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