A Mother Shares Her Son's Heartbreaking Story - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

A Mother Shares Her Son's Heartbreaking Story

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SOUTHAMPTON, Pa. -

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in our country, and after a steady decline, the number of young people choosing to end their lives is now rising.

Equally shocking, the ways in which they're doing it.

A Southampton woman is sharing her son's heartbreaking and shocking suicide.

Fox 29’s Dawn Timmeney reports.

Miriam Favano Dougherty won't soon forget the foul odor that woke her up back on March 9th.

“I went into the bathroom and it was worst, then I went into the hallway, and it was worst," she said.

The mother of six wondered if anyone else in the house could "smell" what she was "smelling?"

"I came downstairs to go find out if Danny could smell it cause I knew he was down here to see if it was from outside, it was horrible, like the worst rotten egg you could ever smell," she said.

She made her way to her son's room to find it empty.

"And I went into where he was sleeping in my husband's den, and there was a sign on the powder door."

“A sign, in big, red letters, which said, 'Call 9-1-1! hydrogen sulfite gas. You will be dead in three breaths!'"

"I still started banging on the door. I literally broke the lock with my bare hands. Trying to get in there. And I remembered that the baby and my husband were all upstairs, I woke them up and my husband saw the sign on the den, and he said, ‘We have to call the police.’”

Firefighters responded and evacuated the entire apartment complex after discovering the contaminated body of Miriam's son, Daniel Favano.

The 22-year-old Temple student had committed "chemical suicide."

Experts say the number of chemical suicides is on the rise.

"You take household chemicals or other easily attainable things, mix them together in ways they were never designed to be mixed together, and cause a cloud or vapor of poison that you breathe in," said Dr. David Damsker, director of the bucks county health department.

Dr. Damsker says it can kill you instantly.

"It’s very scary. I think people think about using this technique because they think it will kill them quickly and painlessly. The biggest problem though beyond the fact this is terrible situation for the individual is that you're setting up potentially other people to get hurt," he said.

“He didn’t only put the sign on the door, but he sealed off the air vent in the bathroom with plastic and duck-tape, he sealed off the toilet, the faucet, every crack around the wall. Everything was sealed so that nothing escaped that room. He also barricaded the room with wood, so that they had to use an ax to get it down."

Miriam still has no idea what was troubling her son so much he would go to such extreme lengths to end his life.

"The day of, he seemed fine. He was talking about going to get a haircut. He had lunch plans on Monday with a friend of his who lives in Puerto Rico, who was just coming back from spring break, he was getting ready to go back from spring break," his mother explained.

While there were no obvious signs, it’s clear now that Danny had been planning to kill himself for some time.

"As a mom, as any parent, I feel in a sense I failed. I know that I didn’t. People tell me I didn’t, but how did I not see he was in so much pain?" she said.

Miriam says Danny ordered the chemicals that killed him from online.

"They said he was toxic, he was purple, no one could go near him. and they had to take him out in a biohazard container and i think that will bother me forever," his mother said.

Miriam urges parents to monitor the websites their children visit.

Dr. Damsker also agrees that parents must monitor everything.

"Obviously, if kids are walking around with toilet bowl cleaner and pesticides, that they normally wouldn't walk around with, you gotta ask questions," he said.

"I would give up anything. I would give up my whole life if I could bring Danny back," Miriam said.

The family has decided to get computer experts to unlock Danny’s laptop to see if they can find clues as to why he killed himself.

It’s expected to cost the family thousands to decontaminate the room where Danny took his life.

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