CTX woman walks to raise awareness of suicide in memory of her brother

Posted at 4:53 PM, Oct 24, 2017
and last updated 2018-11-03 15:20:00-04

A Central Texas woman is taking to the streets of Austin in order to raise awareness for the nearly 50,000 people who commit suicide each year.

March 14, 2014, is a day that will stay with Heather Koehne for the rest of her life. 

"My brother died by suicide in our home."

Heather said her brother, William, had gone down the wrong path using drugs and ultimately being arrested before moving in with Heather and her husband. 

"We thought he was doing better he was going to church with us, he was seeing a psychiatrist, he was back selling cars for my dad, but seemed happy."

But, deep down, William wasn't and ended up taking his own life in Koehne's bedroom. 

"When I first realized that it happened in our home, I wanted to move that day," Koehne said. "I would go in my bedroom, and just sit on my bed and cry."

At the time of William's death, Koehne was 15 weeks pregnant with her daughter, Rhylee.

"It breaks my heart that he never got to meet his niece, and he knew he was going to be an uncle, so I think that's really hard, too," Koehne added.

Now, in memory of William, the Koehne's participate in the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Out of the Darkness Walk each year in Austin. 

"I feel like since my brother's no longer here, I need to do something I need to help people not have to go through what we went through," Koehne said.

Heather wishes she could've said this to her brother, but now she wants to say it to you...

"There's always more. You know, just because you're stuck in this dark place right now, you're gonna get through it. We wanna get through it with you." 

If you would like to make a pledge for Heather and the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention walk, you can do so here

Copyright 2017 KXXV. All rights reserved.