Kiwi woman Jazz Thornton meets police officer who saved her from taking her life

Warning: This article discusses suicide.

An Auckland woman has finally met the police officer who attended her suicide attempt, saying the officer went "above and beyond" to save her life.

Jazz Thornton, who is now a filmmaker and mental health advocate, wrote about the experience on Facebook on Monday.

"One year ago today, I posted an open letter to Constable Campbell, the police officer who attended one of my suicide attempts and went above and beyond to help me," she wrote.

Thornton says thanks to Campbell, she is able to share her story.

The pair had not seen each other since Thornton's suicide attempt, but were able to meet up after a conference and take a picture together.

"I had just come from speaking at a conference, sharing my story with a few hundred people, and we were getting ready to jet off to the UK following the release of my series Jessica's Tree," wrote Thornton.

"I got to sit and thank her for everything, telling her of all I get to do now... and all of the incredible things that have happened since.

"Constable Campbell sat with me in my darkest hour, and now we get to sit sharing stories of the people we both get to impart hope into through different ways."

In an open letter a year ago, Thornton said when she attempted suicide, Campbell was the first person to find her. Campbell sat with her in the back of the police car, and at the hospital for hours after her shift had ended.

"You sat with me on the hospital bed, continuing to speak into my future and telling me of the hope you knew," she wrote.

"You grabbed my phone, dialing in your work number saying 'I want you to text me tomorrow and tell me you are okay. I believe in you. You can do this. You need to make it to your 21st birthday and if you can do that for me, I will find you on that day to say happy birthday.'"

The pair kept in contact, with Campbell messaging Thornton with encouragement. By the time her 21st came around, Thornton had forgotten the promise - but Campbell hadn't.

"You came to my house, and knocked on my door just to say happy birthday. To celebrate the fact that I was still alive and fighting."

Constable Meika Campbell penned her own response to the open letter Thornton wrote in 2018, saying she feels honoured by the response.

"I feel privileged and honoured that her story was told and commend her for openly sharing her demons to make a difference. Jazz is an inspiration and has gone on to help so many of those within our communities battling depression," wrote Campbell.

"For Police staff, getting feedback like what Jazz gave us is like receiving a bonus - but unlike a bonus, it lasts a lot longer with an unmeasurable amount of job satisfaction when we hear that we have impacted a person's life. This is after all, why we got into this job, to help people and keep them safe."



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