User uShare Login | Register

Along with posting photos, videos, and stories, your uShare account lets you post Classified Ads, recipes on What's For Dinner, and Announcements.

57° View Weather Current Conditions Sioux Falls Change Location
Set Weather Options



Share your Photos, Videos, and Stories on uShare! Click here to get started.


[0] My Saved Articles
Find local businesses
on the KELO Pages!


Most Popular Today

Mother Inspired By Support After Son's Suicide

November 19, 2012, 5:03 PM by Brady Mallory

Mother Inspired By Support After Son's Suicide
Derrick Kester


She's still dealing with her teenage son's suicide, but a Sioux Falls mother said an outpouring of support is making one of the most difficult times in her life a little easier.  Earlier this month, we introduced you to Tabatha Welsh.  She told KELOLAND News her 16-year-old son Derrick Kester battled depression and was not perfect, however he also dealt with being bullied. 

"I've gone through his old Facebook page, messages on his phone to see if there was anything," Welsh said.

Welsh has said she saw warning signs, but like so many parents, she never thought her son would actually take his own life.  The mother is still trying to answer a lot of questions.  As she searches for clues, she has found support.

"I've actually had a lot more people, you know, wanting to be friends with me on Facebook to help me take a stand and some of them have their own stories.  There was a family in Chicago (with) a 7-year-old (who struggled with bullying).  So, it's affecting more than just the teen population where it's hardest to fit in," Welsh said. 

Described as a caring teenager with a quick sense of humor, Welsh said her son hid a dark side.  Cards, letters and support from strangers beyond South Dakota have made her realize her son's battles with depression, bullying and thoughts of suicide are all too common.

"The feelings that I have, the emptiness I feel, I don't want another family to feel it.  It is very traumatizing when it is a choice child made," Welsh said.

Her story resonated with a lot of viewers, and it got more than 8,000 responses on our KELO Facebook page.  Welsh said a lot of people she had never met went to her son's funeral.

Now she's trying to use this attention to her story to help others. Beyond keeping her son's memory alive, Welsh wants to keep the conversation about the dangers of bullying going.  She eventually wants to organize rallies and marches to create awareness.  For now, she just hopes her story inspires more parents and teens to talk more openly about their own stories.

"I don't back down.  I always take on challenges," Welsh said.  "If I can make an impact and people really listen, I seriously think these kids are going to be more willing to stand up for themselves."

As she tries to understand her son's suicide, she feels she is also answering a new calling: to support other kids going through situations like Derrick's.

"I still talk to him like he's right there.  He very much always will be there.  Everything I do every day is to better children like him.  To give them a place where they feel like they can talk to somebody," Welsh said.

Previous Story

Next Story




View news

You may also like

Harrisburg High School Principal Shot, Shooter In Custody

9/30/2015 10:28 AM

Authorities said a 16-year-old student fired a gun at the school Wednesday morning. Law enforcement said the injury was a flesh wound.

Full Story
Assistant Principal Called A Hero After Tackling Shooter

9/30/2015 1:03 PM

"I can't speak highly enough of what kind of person that is," Sioux Falls Police Officer Sam Clemens said.

Full Story
16-Year-Old Teen Found Dead On Interstate 90

10/2/2015 10:48 AM

Authorities did not identify the victim, but described him as a 16 year old from Minnehaha County.

Full Story
Body On I-90 Identified

10/2/2015 4:02 PM

The teenager found dead on Interstate 90 has been identified as an O'Gorman High School student.

Full Story
Body Found Dead On I-90

10/1/2015 11:38 PM

At 10:45 p.m. Thursday, deputies found a body at Interstate 90 and North Kiwanis Avenue, near the Interstate 29 interchange.

Full Story