Edward Senior was a medical student attending Swansea University in Wales, where he also played on the rugby team. His friends and family believed he had a bright future ahead of him. However, after a social media prank perpetrated by his rugby teammates, Senior tragically hung himself in a wooded area near his home.
Edward, known by his friends and family as Ted, had shared a post on a website he and his rugby teammates used to talk to each other. In his post, the promising medical student had shared his experience after having a romantic fling with a girl who was also attending the university. The message board on which he posted was private and shared only between him and his fellow teammates.
However, Ted’s rugby teammates thought it would be funny to share the post publicly. It was sent out around the university and seen by hundreds of students, including the girl in question. After the post was shared, Ted reportedly felt ashamed and embarrassed. He also feared that he may be expelled from the school, ending his time as a medical student and jeopardizing his future. Ted returned to his family home after the social media prank was perpetrated. His family later discovered that he had hung himself in a wooded area behind their home. An inquest into the medical student’s death was opened by the Gwent coroner, and police continue to investigate details leading up to Senior’s death on February 12th.
A GoFundMe page was opened in Ted Senior’s name. According to the page, funds raised by the Ted Senior Foundation will be “invested in projects and forums aimed at preventing a reoccurrence of a similar tragedy.” Ted’s brother Max wrote of the medical student on the page: “He had a rare ability to light up any room with his wide smile, mop of blonde hair and special charm.” He continued, “He embodied all the right values on how to live, and will undoubtedly leave a life-long legacy in everyone’s hearts.”
Ted is also fondly remembered by George Morgan, player-manager of Senior’s village soccer team, who said: “He was such a high-spirited human being with such a lust for life — intelligent, confident and an incredible athlete in both football and rugby.” A spokesperson from Swansea University said: “We were very saddened to hear of the death of Edward Senior, a student at our Medical School. Our thoughts and sympathies are with his family and friends at this time.”
Friends and strangers alike left supportive messages in the comments section of the GoFundMe page, which has now raised over £16,000. Jane Wheeler wrote: “Words are so inadequate …our heartfelt sympathy to the Senior family – I know our own son Adam will miss Ted’s friendship so much, especially as they grew up together. Thoughts and prayers are with you.” Another commenter, Adrian Hearne shared the story of returning Ted’s lost wallet, saying “it was immediately apparent that he was a genuine chap and showed his gratitude. A few weeks later he left some beers and a hand-written note of thanks outside our front door! Such refreshing behavior from someone so young.”
The Welsh government offers resources for people who are being bullied, and holds an anti-bullying week every year. The website bulliesout.com also offers a number of workshops, training sessions, and fundraising opportunities to help prevent bullying. Their vision, as stated on their website is “to empower and inspire children and young people to overcome bullying and achieve their full potential.”