‘I feel like I’m dead inside’: Rehtaeh’s father

“I feel like I’m dead inside.”

Losing a child can be traumatic for any parent, but losing a child in the international spotlight can be even more trying. Glen Canning’s daughter, Rehtaeh Parsons, died on Sunday after she was taken off life support at a Halifax hospital. The 17-year-old attempted suicide on April 4.

The girl from Cole Harbour, N.S. took her own life, 18 months after she was allegedly sexually assaulted. Rehtaeh’s story has gone viral and caused her family to be barraged by requests for interviews.

Silent until yesterday, Canning posted a blog called “Rehteah Parsons was my daughter”.

“I don’t want her life to defined by a Google search about suicide or death or rape,” he wrote. “I want it to be about the giving heart she had … Her smile.”

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Canning’s website crashed many times April 11  from the amount of web traffic. The post describes how Rehtaeh was taken off life support, before brain death, so her organs could be donated to four people.

“My daughter saved the life of a young woman with her heart,” wrote Canning. “She also gave someone a new liver, a kidney, a new breath, and a new chance to love.”

Canning describes Rehtaeh’s zest for life and her love of animals. He ends the post with a plea to the Nova Scotia Justice Minister, Ross Landry, asking that Rehtaeh’s alleged rapists face justice.

“You have the opportunity here to do something good and lets face it; the court system in Nova Scotia was just going to rape her all over again with indifference to her suffering and the damage this did to her,” he wrote.

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