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A Father Wrote A Heartbreaking Letter To His 24-Year-Old Daughter After She Drank Herself To Death

"A father should never outlive his daughter – it’s not the way things are supposed to be."

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Leigh Thomson, from Cambuslang in South Lanarkshire, became one of the youngest people in Britain to die from alcohol-related liver disease in August, aged just 24.

She reportedly began drinking excessively from the age of 17.

The Sunday Times said Thomson had secured a place to read biochemistry at college, but an addiction that saw her drinking three litres of cheap cider a day ruined her life.

When her problem was finally discovered when she was 22, she was consuming 161 units of alcohol a week.

The recommended amount for women is 14 a week.

Her father, Jim, has now written a letter, published in the Daily Record, to his daughter expressing his grief at her death and his hope that others may learn from the tragedy.

Dear Leigh,

We are all so sorry to have lost you – especially at such a young age. We think of you each and every day. A father should never outlive his daughter – it's not the way things are supposed to be.

We lost you in August – you would have been 25 soon, your birthday is on Halloween. I know I won't see you again although I still cannot quite believe it. Your absence leaves a hole that cannot be filled.

You were a bright, bubbly girl with so much life and love in you. You had the world at your feet. You wanted to go to America, travel on Route 66 and chill out in Hawaii but it was not to be.

I know you tried so hard to stay with us. Your illness meant things were just beyond your control. I just hope that lessons can be learned from your situation. If even one person gets help after this, then your loss has not been in vain.

You had so much to offer but you will live on in our hearts. I will always love you, wherever you are and wherever I am.

Love forever,


Jim, 47, is now campaigning for an American-style ban on alcohol being sold to anyone under the age of 21.


“It troubled me that Leigh was able to get access to alcohol so easily at the age of 19 and 20," he told the Record.

“Why not have an American-style law whereby you can’t buy alcohol until you are 21? At 18, you are not exactly responsible or mature.

“The alcohol industry has a moral responsibility to do something about the carnage wreaked by alcohol.”

Leigh's mother, Alice, died of alcohol-related issues in 2009 aged 42.

“Leigh had a compulsion to keep drinking. She saw what it did to her mother yet she just could not control it," her father told the Scottish newspaper.

“It’s clear there was no element of choice – she could not stop herself. She knew it was killing her and yet she kept on drinking. It shows that people do not choose to be that way."

Richard James is the News Director for BuzzFeed Australia and is based in Sydney.

Contact Richard James at

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