Fresno Survivors of Suicide

FRESNO, Calif. Dick and Sandy Gallagher remember that day like it was yesterday ... police cars and emergency workers flitting in and out of the house when they pulled up. Their 17-year-old son David, a senior at Fresno's Hoover High School left school early ... put a shotgun in his mouth and pulled the trigger.

His mother, Sandy Gallagher said, "I don't think Dick and I reacted at all. No screaming no crying, we were in a deep shock."

Dick and Sandy and their five children were living what they thought was the American dream. But something dark and consuming was living inside their son, David. He had a depression so well hidden even close friends had no clue. The Gallaghers were left behind to pick up the pieces ... so they talked about their pain. They formed support groups and have talked to thousands of teenagers across the Valley about suicide prevention through Fresno S.O.S.

Dick Gallagher said, "Our message to people is to educate people on suicide and depression ... depression is an illness like diabetes. It has to be treated or it can really make you so sick that you give up."

Because of Dick and Sandy's willingness to reach out to others ... Fresno's Elizabeth Laval had someone to talk to last July when her husband, Bob Leva, decided to take his own life.

Elizabeth Laval said, "There were problems ... he was not a happy person and his unhappiness I didn't consider depression. I just thought it was stress and strain ... obviously it had gone way past that."

Elizabeth Laval is the great granddaughter of the great photographer Pop Laval and therefore she and her children have had to grieve in public.

Elizabeth Laval said, "I grieve that I could not protect them from this, because this is something that no child should have to go through.

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