AZ Pinay mother with PTSD commits suicide

By Fleur Magbanua-Mansur, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

September 16, 2014

PHOENIX , Ariz. – 33-year-old Jenniefer Espino Lagarto Fritz was found dead by a friend Saturday inside her home in South Phoenix. She committed suicide by hanging herself.

Her disabled live-in partner, Lloyd Cracraft, was in the hospital for the past few weeks because of complications from a surgery and was not around during Fritz’s darkest moments.

“They won’t let me leave,” said Cracraft. “I can’t leave the hospital to see her. I feel horrible. I don’t know. I don’t know how to feel about it.”

Cracraft says Fritz went through so much. He says she was sexually abused when she was eight until 16-years-old. She was also diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder and was taking anti-depressants but had not seen her doctor lately.

“There’s no telling. Anything can trigger Jenniefer anytime,” said Cracraft. “She was taking her medications. Celexa which seems to help a lot.”

“Because of what happened to her at such young age, it affected her adulthood to where mentally she wasn’t [right],” said Vanessa Martin, Fritz’s best friend. “She put on a good show. Good front like everybody would think she is happy.”

Cracraft wishes to see Fritz one last time but lacks the money to get her body out of the morgue.

“She has few friends in Arizona, so if any you or organizations can help Lloyd out to take her out of the morgue,” said Jovelyn Labora, a family friend.

Fritz is survived by her four young children. Her eldest is 15-years-old while the youngest will be turning two.

“My kids they don’t quite understand,” said Cracraft. “They know mommy just took off and disappeared. They’re just expecting her to come back.”

Meanwhile, Cracraft has been discharged from the hospital. Despite being weak, he held a car wash to raise money so he could claim Fritz’s remains.

“I can’t be sitting in the hospital and letting everybody else do everything,” said Cracraft. “I’m used to do things for myself and my family and I have to do that.”

An expert on post traumatic stress syndrome or PTSD says that suicide can be prevented. Identifying early signs of depression and getting appropriate help are important.

“The early symptoms include disturbances in sleep, noticing a change in a person’s behavior in terms of them not enjoying some of the things that they typically would enjoy doing, having people express or having the person who dealing with the depression express symptoms of hopelessness and worthlessness, noticing a change in terms of their energy level and in terms of normal level of socialization with people,” said psychiatrist Dr. Michael J. Fermo. “If you are dealing with a situation where you dealt with extreme stress and don’t know where to go, with regards to getting help, simply going into an emergency room is a simple way of getting help. The bottom line is letting somebody know.”

Dr. Fermo also suggests calling the National Suicide Prevention Hotline for crisis intervention.

The family received close $2,000 from the car wash and Facebook fund-me accounts this weekend, just a thousand dollars away from what they need to claim Fritz’s remains.

You may visit this Facebook page to know how you can help.
https://www.facebook.com/ArizonaFilipinoForum

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