NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WGGB)- On the evening of March 15th, Northampton resident Zachary Steele decided that he didn’t want to live any longer. The 18-year old jumped from a Northampton Parking Garage, but remarkably survived. Now, four months later, he’s talking about his suicide attempt.
Zach had thoughts he couldn’t get out of his head. “When I was alone, all I could think about was why me, what is the point of this… which is strange because my life was great,” he says.
He and his family knew he was facing severe depression and with therapy they were doing whatever they could to treat it.
But it was just not enough; he climbed five stories to the top of the parking garage and made a decision that could have ended his life.
“I stepped over the wall, closed my eyes and put my arms out and just jumped.”
And that is all that he remembers.
Soon after his father, Sonny Steele, received the phone call that no parent ever want to get.
“We are going to take you up to surgical ICU right now your sons in critical condition,” he recalls. “And here I am, 30 something years old with your 17 year old child, living my worst fear.”
Thankfully, Zachary survived. However, the road has been rough. The fall broke his jaw, limbs, and lead to serious brain damage. He has had over 10 surgeries and still has more to go.
He is home and conquering one milestone at a time. Already back on his feet, Zach’s whole outlook in life has changed. He wants to get back to the skate park and he also wants to inspire other teens that suffer from depression.
“If you’re having those feelings I would definitely try to see a doctor or talk to somebody,” says Zachary.
When asked of what he thinks of himself now, Zach confidently replies,“I think I’m pretty awesome. I feel great, and I can’t wait for the future. Every day is a new day.”
A friend of the family is holding a benefit this Sunday to support Zach in his recovery and to help pay for medical bills.
The Zach is Back! benefit takes place July 28 starting at 12:30 p.m. at Look Park’s Pines Theater.
For more information about the event, to donate or to purchase tickets, visit www.zachisback2013.com. Tickets to the event are $25 for adults 19 and over and $15 for those 5 to 18, and free for those 5 and under.