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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Brandon Mateo Autopsy – A Story of Devastating Loss

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Brandon Mateo, celebrated in his farewell tribute as a caring, jovial food aficionado, was known to stand up to bullies and consider others before himself. Polite and gallant, Brandon was a beacon of promise, and his absence has left an irreplaceable void.

A tragic victim of suicide at just 14, Brandon ended his life with a self-inflicted gunshot wound in February 2020. His memory remains alive and cherished, thanks to the relentless efforts of his mother, Shannon Mateo, who tirelessly advocates for causes in his honor.

Brandon was undergoing therapy and medication for mental health at the time of his death

Born on August 1, 2005, to Shannon and Robert Mateo, Brandon was an exceptionally jovial child. Yet, his parents noticed his feelings of isolation, which led them to bless him with a younger brother, Codi. Brandon, the boy with the unusually golden eyes, deeply loved those around him. His obituary describes him as:

“Brandon was generous with his hugs. He embraced us at least five times daily. He expressed his love each day, each night, after meals, and spontaneously. His wishes for our day to be good, for us to sleep well, and to do good, were constant.”

When Brandon, at 12, confessed his mental health struggles, his parents were proactive. They found a therapist of his choice and acquired the medication that worked for him, while also increasing their quality time spent together.

According to a GoFundMe campaign for the Mateos, Brandon seemed to be on the mend, smiling more broadly and frequently. Regrettably, despite the family’s efforts, Brandon chose to end his life on the 18th of February, 2020, after coming home from school and sending his last message.

Shannon, in a conversation with 8 ABC, said there wasn’t any specific event or trigger that led to the incident, suggesting it could have been a failed match between his brain chemistry and his medication.

In a Facebook post on 12th December 2022, Shannon revealed Brandon’s heartbreak might have played a role in his decision. She wrote:

“Here is your reminder not to downplay adolescent love. I understand its significance, as I remember being in love at 14. Despite doing everything right for Brandon after he disclosed his feelings, his shattered heart became unbearable after 3 months.”

Shannon appealed to parents to pay attention to their children and their behaviours, saying, “Don’t belittle what your teenagers deem crucial. Listen to them, empathize with them, and stop asking for reasons. When you ask for an explanation they cannot provide, they feel even more shattered.”

Grieving Mother Shares Her Struggles Following Son’s Suicide

In a heart-wrenching event that took place on Tuesday, February 18, 2020, Shannon Mateo and her spouse were left grief-stricken after their 14-year-old son, Brandon Mateo, tragically ended his own life.

“There didn’t seem to be a trigger, no particular occurrence or episode,” Mateo shared, seemingly at a loss for what might have led to such a drastic step.

Attendee of Damonte Ranch High School, Brandon was more than just a student; he was a son, a sibling, and a friend. A critical phase in his life, as his mother suggests, saw him succumbing to the overwhelming weight of mental health struggles.

Around the age of 12, Brandon began revealing symptoms of mental illness, sometimes waking up feeling clouded with despair. As soon as they realized the severity of his condition, Shannon and her husband promptly sought professional help and attempted to spend more quality time with him. Regardless, Shannon lamented that Brandon was unable to surmount his depression.

“Just because depression is invisible doesn’t mean it’s not real,” stressed Mateo. “Declaring it otherwise can make young people feel defective and shattered.”

Suicide is alarmingly one of the primary causes of fatality amongst teenagers in Washoe County, according to experts. Shannon argues that an urgent need for more mental health discussions in school settings is evident.

“People grappling with mental health issues need a safe space to interact with others who understand, and to reassure them that it’s okay to feel the way they do,” Mateo expressed.

In less than a month, Damonte Ranch High has mourned the loss of five students. Shannon vehemently clarified that these tragic losses are not associated with what happened to Brandon.

“Suicide often goes unnoticed. Nobody wants to utter the word suicide, but it’s unfair that Damonte is being implicated for something it’s not responsible for,” argued Mateo.

The loss of these five young lives has deeply affected multiple families. Amid their own heartache, the Mateo family urged other parents to shower their children with additional affection and attention.

Brandon’s demise initiated a dialogue about teenage suicide in Washoe County

Following Brandon’s shocking death, a much-needed conversation about mental health and suicide emerged in Washoe County, where suicide rates were alarmingly high among teenagers. Shannon contributed to this by collaborating with the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office in producing videos about mental health in May 2021. Additionally, she frequently encourages people to donate to suicide prevention initiatives inspired by Brandon’s interests.

Moving forward has been tough for Brandon’s family

Shannon, who regularly shares pictures of Brandon on a dedicated Instagram, has been trying to move forward with her family despite the enormous loss. She married Brandon’s father, Robert, in March 2021, and she often shares moments of joy, such as dance videos with her son Codi, who she credits with helping her through her darkest days. However, she candidly acknowledges the financial burden of therapy for the family during this challenging time, expressing gratitude for the donations that have helped cover the cost.

Kate Brown
Kate Brown
I am a writer and journalist based in New York. Since the start of my career, I have been in Content Marketing and have proven record by featuring businesses, products and technology on various news outlets like Forbes, entrepreneur.com, magzica.com, inc.com, businessinsider.com

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