LOSING a child is every parent's worst nightmare but it's even tougher for Toowoomba couple Laurie and Louise Stewart who are mourning their talented 15-year-old daughter Kyesha.

The talented and well-known teenage singer died by her own hand in March.

The shocked couple simply never saw it coming.

"There were no signs whatsoever," Mrs Stewart explained.

"She was moody but what teenager isn't at that age and at what point do you notice something is really wrong?
"Had there been any signs we certainly would have been all over it."

Laurie and Louise Stewart, parents of Toowoomba teenager, Kyesha Stewart who died suddenly on March 4, 2020. Kyesha was a singer regularly appeared at sporting events and cultural festivals to sing a range of songs including the Australian national anthem which she performed in English and in an Aboriginal dialect. Photo Bev Lacey
Laurie and Louise Stewart, parents of Toowoomba teenager, Kyesha Stewart who died suddenly on March 4, 2020. Kyesha was a singer regularly appeared at sporting events and cultural festivals to sing a range of songs including the Australian national anthem which she performed in English and in an Aboriginal dialect. Photo Bev Lacey Bev Lacey

A talented artist and sportsperson, Kyesha was best known for her beautiful singing voice and often sang the national anthem in both English and the Aboriginal Yugambeh language at rugby league events and for other organisations and she was kept busy during NAIDOC Week each year.

Then Commissioner of Police Ian Stewart in 2018 invited her to perform as part of police celebrations of NAIDOC Week at Brisbane headquarters.

Though a prolific performer on stage from such a young age, Kyesha never craved the limelight.

"She was shy but she loved singing, but not the accolades that came with it," Mrs Stewart said.

Mr Stewart accompanied Kyesha to most of her performances.

Family photos of Kyesha Stewart, Toowoomba teenager who died suddenly on March 4, 2020.
Family photos of Kyesha Stewart, Toowoomba teenager who died suddenly on March 4, 2020. Photo Contributed

"I found myself a father, manager, chauffeur and chaperone," he said with a smile.

"She gave us a bit of a journey.

"This has not just affected our family but the whole community, she was so well known."

 

Mr and Mrs Stewart were attending a pre-season rugby league match in Toowoomba when they were told of their daughter.

Mr Stewart flew with Kyesha in the medical helicopter to Brisbane and the rest of the family arrived later that morning.

"We are grateful we got to spend five days with her in the hospital and got to say goodbye," Mr Stewart said.
"The support we got from the community afterwards was incredible.

"We were away for a week and came home to find our fridge full and flowers everywhere.

"The generosity of the community was overwhelming.

"All the clubs in the rugby league community offered to help, especially Newtown where I'm reserve grade coach.

"Wilsonton High School and Sacred Heart where the kids go were really supportive as was my work Mercy Community.

"The whole community helped."

Due to COVID-19, the family couldn't have the funeral they had wanted for Kyesha so had a small family service instead.

"We were grateful to have as many there as we could," Mr Stewart said.

"Down the track we'll have a memorial service for all those who couldn't attend the funeral."

Kyesha Stewart. Languages and Cultural Festival, Queens Park. August 2018
Kyesha Stewart. Languages and Cultural Festival, Queens Park. August 2018 Bev Lacey

Mr and Mrs Stewart would also in the future like to share their story in the hope it could help other families and prevent others from going through such an experience.

"Everybody thinks it's not going to happen to them and we through it would never happen to one of our kids," Mrs Stewart said.

"We've done everything for our kids.

"But a small percentage of the time there are no signs, no warnings.

"One day we'd like to tell our story to others.

"When we got back from the hospital there were people in our yard.

"We told them our story and in the end we ended up consoling them."

Mr and Mrs Stewart said if anyone wanted to hear more of their story, they can be reached by email at kyeshas.music@outlook.com

If you or someone you know needs help, contact: Lifeline 13 11 14; Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800.



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