Friends of a mother who murdered her three children while suffering with severe postpartum depression have banded together in support of her after the tragedy.
Those close to Lindsay Clancy, 32, have taken to social media to describe her as an extremely kind person who loved her children deeply – and to characterize her actions as being clearly driven by the ‘serious demons’ of her psychosis.
Many have shown their support and solidarity for Lindsay by changing their profile pictures to an image of a heart made up of smaller hearts, with the letters LAOL – standing for Lindsay’s Army of Love – written underneath.
Lindsay is accused of strangling her daughter Cora, five, son Dawson, three, and baby Callan, eight months. She is facing murder and assault charges, and is said to have been suffering severe post-natal depression at the time of the killings.
Lindsay with her husband Patrick, and two of their children. The couple had a third child, who died with his siblings after their mother attacked them in an apparent state of psychosis
Jeri Lyn, a friend of Lindsay’s said that the tragedy should serve as a reminder to the world about the dangers of postpartum depression
Kristen Gildersleeve took to Facebook to recall volunteering with Lindsay when they were classmates in high school.
She said that when she first heard the news about the killings she was horrified, but upon coming to understand postpartum depression (PPD) she came to understand the tragedy that happened.
‘I said PPD isn’t an excuse because I also suffered from it and I never had thoughts about harming my children and couldn’t fathom the thought of it,’ she wrote, recalling her initial reaction to the killings.
A graphic that people have been posting on social media to show support for Lindsay. LAOL stands for Lindsay’s Army of Love
But she said that after researching PPD she came to understand just how severely the hormone imbalances that can come after pregnancy can hurt a person’s mind.
‘I knew Lindsay from high school…we spent many hours together doing CNA clinical hours and she was such a kind, loving person,’ she wrote.
‘What I can say for sure is she was battling some serious demons, that nobody can understand if you’ve never experienced it yourself.
‘To all the people condemning her, I ask you to please look into postpartum psychosis and see if that changes your thoughts, even just a little bit.’
Another woman who knew Lindsay growing up, Jeri Lyn, recorded a video of herself speaking in support for the mother and saying that what happened was nothing more than a tragedy.
‘It just reminds you how precious life is, how important you mental health is, and more so how you never know what somebody else is going through,’ she said.
‘I feel for this woman, I feel for her babies, I feel for her family, anybody who is impacted by this tragic tragic situation. I never in a million years would have expected to read or see that, and my heat hurts, it hurts for those who are impacted by it.’
‘This morning I just cant stop reading it, I can’t put it into words, I can’t even make sense of it, and I’m so sad for it,’ Lyn added.
They discovered the three young children ‘unconscious’ upstairs ‘with obvious signs of trauma’ on Tuesday evening
Callan was initially the only child to survive the incident, but he died on Friday morning
Friend Christian McSharry remembered Lindsay and her children as ‘joyful.’
‘A young mother, loving her sweet children, making music in a safe circle of friends,’ she said of Lindsay.
She spoke out strongly about how she felt there needed to be more discussions about and awareness of PPD.
‘This needs to be talked about more and normalized so the many who do suffer from any postpartum illness feel safe to speak up,’ she wrote. ‘The work to make a mother feel safe needs to happen BEFORE the illness begins.’
Dawn Aducci, a friend and former coworker of Lindsay’s also spoke on her behalf, recalling Lindsay as ‘A woman, a Mother, a wife, a daughter, a nurse.’
‘I pray their two children who are now angels know that was NOT their Momma, the same mom who rocked them to sleep, wiped their tears, kissed scraped knees, and made silly faces for laughs- that was not their Momma that night,’ she wrote.
‘I pray for Lindsay as she eventually will surface from the depths of hell she was feeling inside only to find out she is in a new kind of hell…I pray she is given support throughout this horrific fog.’
Friends of the Clancy family have set up a GoFundMe to support Patrick and assist in paying for medical bills, funeral bills and legal bills.
Clancy, pictured with Cora as a baby, was a midwife at Massachusetts General Hospital
Investigators are probing if Lindsay, a midwife who was on leave from Massachusetts General Hospital, was suffering from postpartum psychosis.
She had written about her struggle with postpartum depression on her Facebook page just six weeks after the birth of Callan, who was born in May.
Her husband, Patrick Clancy, 34, gave searing insight into his ‘excruciating and relentless pain’ in a post on the family’s GoFundMe page, his first public remarks since the tragedy.
‘I want to ask all of you that you find it deep within yourselves to forgive Lindsay, as I have,’ Clancy wrote.
‘The real Lindsay was generously loving and caring towards everyone — me, our kids, family, friends, and her patients.
‘The very fibers of her soul are loving. All I wish for her now is that she can somehow find peace.’
Father Patrick Clancy was out for 25 minutes to grab takeout for his family when he found his wife, Lindsay, unconscious after dropping from their second-floor window. Inside their home, daughter Cora (left) and son Dawson (right) were dead
Tributes have been laid outside the home where the tragedy occurred, with balloons and flowers left by well-wishers piling up
Patrick found his wife lying unconscious outside their home at about 6pm Tuesday and called 911. He had ‘popped out for 25 minutes’ to collect a takeout order.
More than $690,000 had been raised by Saturday according to a GoFundMe page created for the family’s medical bills, funeral services, and legal help.
‘A lot of people have said they can’t imagine and they’re right, there’s absolutely nothing that can prepare you,’ Patrick wrote in the post on Saturday.
‘The shock and pain is excruciating and relentless. I’m constantly reminded of them and with the little sleep I get, I dream about them on repeat.’
Clancy pictured with her husband Patrick, 34, who called authorities after finding her lying unconscious outside their home on Tuesday evening
Her horrified husband, Patrick, 34, discovered Clancy lying unconscious outside their home when he returned from work at around 6pm and called 911
Patrick wrote about his wife Lindsay, whom he married in 2016 in Southington, Connecticut, according to an engagement announcement in the Scituate Mariner.
‘Our marriage was wonderful and diametrically grew stronger as her condition rapidly worsened,’ he wrote.
‘I took as much pride in being her husband as I did in being a father and felt persistently lucky to have her in my life.
‘I still remember the very moment I first laid eyes on her and can recall how overcome I was with the kind of love at first sight you only see in movies. It really didn’t take long before I was certain I wanted to marry her.’
Patrick talked about Lindsay’s dedication to being a nurse and a mother.
‘We mutually understood the reality that people can have bad days, but we stuck to the rule that when one of us got lost, the other was always there to bring them home, always,’ he wrote.
‘She loved being a nurse, but nothing matched her intense love for our kids and dedication to being a mother. It was all she ever wanted. Her passion taught me how to be a better father.’
He asked for forgiveness for Lindsay, as he said he has forgiven her. ‘I want to ask all of you that you find it deep within yourselves to forgive Lindsay, as I have,’ he wrote.
‘The real Lindsay was generously loving and caring towards everyone – me, our kids, family, friends, and her patients.’
Plymouth County District Attorney confirmed that Callan (above) died at a Boston area hospital on Friday morning
Last July, she wrote that six weeks after the child’s birth, she was feeling ‘dialed in’ and sought to focus on exercise, nutrition and her mindset, which she claimed ‘made all the difference.’
In 2020, she wrote online: ‘So unbelievably thankful for this family and life,’ along with doting images of her children.
Feelings of depression can be common after childbirth, but on rare occasions, they can lead to full postpartum psychosis.
In this extreme form of PPD, a mother can suffer from severe depression and hallucinations which can lead her to harm herself, her children, or both.
The hospital where Lindsay works said in a statement: ‘We are shocked and saddened to learn of this unthinkable tragedy. We extend our deepest sympathies to all those affected by these devastating events.’
Duxbury Police work at the scene where the two children were found dead. The third died later
Heartbreaking pictures show Cora, right and Dawson, left, smiling together. The siblings were pronounced dead at hospital
Lindsay Clancy will be arraigned on charges including two counts of homicide and three each for strangulation and assault and battery with a deadly weapon for the deaths of her two children.
It is expected that further charges will be added for the death of Callan.
Plymouth District Attorney Timothy Cruz said it appeared that they had all been strangled.
He said of the family: ‘I cannot begin to fathom the pain, the depths of pain they must be feeling.
‘This is an unimaginable, senseless tragedy, and it is an ongoing investigation.’
Cruz warned, ‘nobody’s here to speculate’, adding ‘we’re well aware of the fact that anybody charged with a criminal crime is presumed innocence until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.’
He wrapped up the conference by saying: ‘Certainly our hearts and condolences go up to the Clancy family.’
Postpartum Depression: How struggling new mothers can experience extreme effects, from ‘baby blues’ to psychosis
New mothers can often experience anxiety and depression after child birth, but those feelings can intensify and endure into Postpartum Depression (PPD) and Psychosis.
The first stage is often referred to as the ‘Baby Blues,’ which typically only lasts a few days to two weeks after child birth.
These blues typically cause mild mood swings, anxiety, sadness, irritability, crying, appetite problems and trouble sleeping.
If those feelings persist, the blues can be diagnosed as PPD, which is linked to chemical, social and psychological changes that take place after having a baby, and can be treated with medication and counseling.
Symptoms of PPD include: severe mood swings, inability to sleep, feelings of hopelessness, severe anxiety and panic attacks, and thoughts of harming yourself or your baby.
PPD can affect 1 in 10 mothers, but if not treated, the condition can worsen and evolve to Post Partum Psychosis.
This serious mental illness often happens within the first three months after child birth and occurs in about one in 1,000 new mothers.
Under Postpartum Psychosis, women can experience hallucinations, delusions, insomnia and paranoia.
In its most extreme form, women with Postpartum Psychosis can make attempts at harming themselves, their children, or both.
PPD is threadedly differently depending on the types of symptoms and severity.
The conditions is typically treated with anti-anxiety or antidepressant medication, psychotherapy and participation in emotional support groups.
Source: The Mayo Clinic
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