Student loses ‘battle with brain’ as University of Manchester responds to claims surrounding death

Rory Wood took his own life on 24 July. Credit: MEN Media

The family of a Master's student who tragically died have told of his long-term battle with mental illness - amid claims that his university left him in a 'hopeless situation'.

Rory Wood was found dead three days after going missing on Sunday, 24 July. His family believe he took the decision to end his own life.

Stories surrounding why the 27-year-old is said to have died have now been addressed by the University of Manchester following an 'upsetting' social media post.

A tweet claimed the university had taken a £1,000 deposit from Rory, rejected the application "because they could not make living costs" and then allegedly "did not give the money back".

Rory is said to have taken his own life "because of his absolute hopelessness of his situation".

Shared more than 10,000 times, the tweet said: "So Manchester University took an applicants £1k, rejected their application because they can’t make living costs, and didn’t give the money back.

"This applicant, a friend, then dies by suicide because of his absolute hopelessness of his situation. It’s absolutely scandalous."

In one of his last tweets, Rory, from Hereford, said he had not made enough money to fund the costs of the move or studying in the city, and described how 'everything felt impossible and unliveable'.

The Russel Group university, based on Oxford Road in Manchester city centre, released a statement on Wednesday, 27 July, responding to the "upsetting" claims.

A spokesperson said they had checked their records and found Rory's application "is still open" and was "not rejected".

It added it could not find any evidence suggesting any request for a refund.

"We are very aware of the upsetting reports online about a student applicant and are looking into what has been said as a matter of urgency", the statement said.

"Out of respect we are not commenting further as yet but, if confirmed, we extend our utmost sympathy.

"We can confirm that a place was successfully secured for a Master's at the University.

"According to our records this application is still open and wasn't withdrawn by the applicant and has not been rejected by the University.

"From our initial enquiries, we can find no record or email correspondence suggesting any request for a refund or further request for help."

Rory's family say he had lost "his battle with his brain" and asked that his legacy be increased awareness of mental illness.

They said: "Thank you for all your love for our beautiful son, brother, nephew and cousin, Rory.

"We are completely humbled and overwhelmed by the messages of support on Twitter.

"We realise that there are people on here that truly loved him and the fact that he made your days just a little bit brighter brings a smile to our faces in these tragic times.

"Rory may not have mentioned it on here but he has always had loving and supportive friends and family that tried everything to help him but his battle with his brain sadly overcame him.

"We ask that Rory's legacy is the increased awareness of mental illness - please all look after yourselves and always remember to speak out.

"Rory completing his bachelors degree in politics, philosophy and economics last week was one of the proudest moments of our lives. We will never stop loving you Rory."

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