Young widow pregnant with triplets devastated by suicide of husband in lockdown

A woman pregnant with triplets has been widowed after her husband took his own life during Australia's coronavirus lockdown.

Cricket coach Matt Conwell, 32, died on September 2 in what police say was a suicide.

He leaves behind his 29-year-old wife Ashleigh, who is expecting three babies later this year.

Her sister Emily said her brother-in-law had been struggling with his mental health as a result of the pandemic.

"It was a snap decision, a moment of clouded judgement, and totally out of character," she told the Courier Mail.

"This year's been tough for everyone, even the strongest people you thought could get through it, and while there were some struggles and stresses there, it just shows suicide doesn't discriminate.

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"The outpouring of support is a testament to the kind of person Matt was – very non-judgemental, very genuine and caring, an unassuming, quiet person who had time for everyone."

A GoFundMe page set up for the grieving mother-to-be has received more than £143,000 (£79,000).

"The pregnancy, delivery and care of triplets is challenging for any couple," it reads.

"This has now been made so much more difficult for Ashleigh with the loss of her beloved soulmate, who was so looking forward to meeting his babies.

"Not only has Ashleigh's world been torn apart emotionally, the financial hardship she now finds herself in is significant.

"Both Matt and Ashleigh had been impacted by Covid-19 in their job roles; they were already stretching every dollar and budgeting tightly for the arrival of their unexpected but so very wanted 'instant' family.

"Losing Matt has placed an almost overwhelming burden on Ashleigh."

Mr Conwell, who was also known as "Cozzy", worked with professional and premier grade sporting clubs, including as a strength and conditioning coach for the Brisbane Roar Football Club.

But cricket was his main passion, and there has been an outpouring of grief from many Queensland-based cricket clubs.

"Matt always presented a smiling face and he will be sadly missed by everyone who had the privilege of knowing him," WPC Cricket Club President Peter Davies wrote on the Wolston Park Centenary Cricket club's Facebook page.

Over the weekend the Redlands Tigers Club held a pre game gathering and a minute's silence for their "great friend and teammate".

South Brisbane Cricket Club Brisbane Super King said Mr Conwell "was a huge part of BSK Juniors over the recent years and will deeply missed".

For emotional support, you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email jo@samaritans.org, visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.

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