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FARGO — All it takes is a few photos to figure out 15-year-old Liam Medd was an active, popular student and son that liked to live large.
"He was beautiful and thoughtful. We talked all the time. I took him to school every day and brought him home every day. We had conversations in the car. He was thoughtful and caring," said Liam's mother, Elizabeth Medd.
In just a few short years, he fished in the ocean, shot his first deer and attained the rank of Life Scout. He was a standout ball player and wore the number six on the Davies High School football field. But just days ago, life for Liam's parents changed forever.
"We left the house on Monday night for an hour and came home to a different reality," said Liam's father, Todd Medd. "When we walked out the door, he was having ice cream with his sister, and if it can happen to Liam, it can happen to anyone."
Without warning or anything that would have sparked worry, Liam died by suicide.
"There were no (red) flags," Todd Medd recalled. "You always look back and wonder if you missed something, and that goes back to that 'what if' conversation."
At Liam's funeral Saturday, Feb. 6, students, scouts and athletes from Davies heard a plea from a coach who urged them all to look out for each other.
"I want you all to know that nobody saw this coming, and nobody knows why this happened. This is hard enough; don't blame yourself," said Liam's coach, Neil Ebeling.
The family is hoping to raise money through the school in Liam's memory. A memorial and money raised will go to help Davies get a turf field in honor of Liam. The family also wants to help schools in the community deal with getting rid of the stigma of mental illness.
"You have to realize that, by sharing our story, that this will resonate with others. When people say, 'my kid wouldn't do that,' well ... my kid wouldn't either," Todd Medd said. "This sounds cliché, and I hate saying it, but if it could happen to Liam, it could happen to anyone. So we want parents to know the importance of that."
Other stories by Kevin Wallevand:
- Local organizations help to get those in need a home
- Mother writes letters to son dying of COVID-19
- The human cost to the increase in overdose deaths