A doctor who killed himself after speaking candidly about his horrific rape ordeal on TV was ‘in a sense, murdered by his abusers,’ his wife said in an extraordinary eulogy.
Dr Stuart Kidd, 60, from the New South Wales Blue Mountains, died on May 30 – decades after he was sexually abused by men decades older than him.
The orthopedic surgeon bravely shared his story with the ABC TV documentary show You Can’t Ask That in an episode about surviving sex abuse which aired this week.
Dr Kidd’s wife Janet Kidd delivered a candid speech about the ‘wonderful man’ at his funeral service last month, which the family has shared with Daily Mail Australia.
Ms Kidd remembered him as a man who made Queen Elizabeth II smile, a childhood friend of the Dalai Lama and a hero who saved lives in the delivery room.
‘It was my enormous privilege to be his wife,’ Ms Kidd told mourners.
‘But he wore out and it was time for him to be free.’
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‘He was a wonderful man’: Dr Stuart Kidd, centre, with daughter Missy Cooper, son Roger Kidd, grandson Koby Cooper, son Michael Kidd
Dr Kidd ‘made the Queen smile’, his wife recalled in an extraordinary eulogy for her late life-partner at the Blue Mountains’ City Church last month
Childhood mates: Dr Kidd spent some time growing up in India and got to know a young Dalai Lama. On right, he is seen meeting the Dalai Lama during a visit to Australia
Ms Kidd said in her eulogy that her husband ‘wanted to tell his story and bring dark deeds into the light and encourage others to do the same’.
‘For those of you that aren’t aware, Stuart died a sudden death of his own choice. He died by suicide,’ she said.
‘Stuart was a survivor of complex, very early childhood trauma.
‘In other words, he was raped, repeatedly when he was extremely young, by the people his parents paid to care for their children when they were working in India.
‘It is impossible for a very small child to recover.
‘Stuart was in a sense, murdered by his abusers, but he bravely hung on to life as long as he possibly could.
‘He sought help and healing constantly and put an enormous effort into being the fabulous person you have heard about.’
Ms Kidd said he, and the family, had exhausted every avenue of help that they could.
She urged anyone struggling to ‘talk to someone, talk to me, write it out, get some therapy, whatever you need to do to move on – because it’s not your fault.’
Dr Stuart Kidd opened up about being raped as a child on the ABC Television program You Can’t Ask
A young Dr Kidd and his wife. He told her of his horrendous rape ordeal at age 17, in 1977, and she was ‘absolutely horrified’
A recent photo of Ms Kidd and her late husband Stuart
During his candid interview, Dr Kidd revealed he was raped as a child and teenager
‘TIME TO BE FREE’: EXTRACT FROM WIFE’S EULOGY FOR DR STUART KIDD
‘Stuart fought so bravely for so long,’ his wife Janet Kidd said
So many stories about my dear husband. We haven’t even begun to cover them really.
He was a childhood friend of the Dalai Lama.
He met Victor Chang and watched him do open heart surgery. He operated with Fred Hollows.
He assisted with brain surgery. He performed emergency caesareans in a third world country. He graduated with Charlie Teo.
He met Prince Charles and influenced his diet. He met Princess Diana and reassured her RE: baby William’s diet.
He chatted with Bob Hawke like they were old friends and he consoled Hazel Hawke after the death of her dog.
He laughed at Prince Phillip’s joke about Christians. He made the Queen smile, it’s true.
He dragged me through the crowd to meet Sir Edmund Hilary… He played the grand piano in the Sydney Opera House.
He literally saved lives in the delivery room of the hospital.
He visited my birth place in the wilds of Papua and we built a house for orphans in Uganda.
He was a wonderful man.
It was my enormous privilege to be his wife for 37 and a half years. His best friend for over 40.
And we raised three wonderful people together. He loved children.
But he wore out. And it was time for him to be free.’
‘Any of you, especially those younger than Stuart, look around and see the huge impact that a death causes and know that everyone would be so devastated if you ever dared think about suicide as an option.
‘Stuart fought so bravely for so long.
‘Anyone suffering from any mental health, I insist you do the same thing – because these days there is so much more help available.’
In an interview with Daily Mail Australia, Ms Kidd said she met her partner at the age of ‘sweet sixteen’.
He was very attractive, a tortured teen and ‘very much a perfectionist… always studying, always doing the right thing,’ she said.
‘I became his best friend the following year … that’s when he first told me had been abused, when I was seventeen, in 1977.
‘I won his trust and he came out with his deepest struggles.
‘I was absolutely horrified because I didn’t know that such a thing as sexual abuse of males occurred.
‘So my reaction was really strong and he still, to the day he died, he said the way I reacted helped him to realise that it wasn’t just a little thing that happened to him.
‘It was a big deal.’
In his ABC interview, an emotional Dr Kidd said: ‘I was a child, and I was being cared for, supposedly being cared for, from the ages of three to six.
‘I was just being myself, being a boy, paying the consequences for it’.
Ms Kidd described her husband as a wonderful father and grandfather and amazing doctor.
He delivered emergency cesareans in the the third world and built an orphanage for African children.
‘It was my enormous privilege to be his wife for 37-and-a-half years, his best friend for over 40.’
She said there are now words to describe what Dr Kidd had gone through: complex early childhood trauma.
If there was one thing she could ask for, it is for people to be good to each other.
‘That’s what I was for Stuart, I was a good mate.
‘And he was a good mate to me.
‘And that’s why he could go on as long as he could,’ she said.
The couple’s daughter Missy Cooper has set up a memorial fund in her father’s name to provide support for other sufferers.
The fund was set up in conjunction with the Survivors and Mates Support Network (SAMSN), a network Dr Kidd was dedicated to.
If you or anyone around you are struggling and/or seeking support, call Lifeline on 13 11 14.
After the episode aired on Wednesday night, the incredible life and work of Dr Kidd surfaced
ABC STATEMENT ON DR STUART KIDD’S DEATH
The episode that featured Dr Kidd aired on July 11 and featured this message, above
The ABC and the producers of You Can’t Ask That are saddened by the recent death of Dr Stuart Kidd, who was a key on-screen contributor to the episode featuring survivors of sexual assault, broadcast on 11 July. Stuart’s interview was filmed in November 2017, during which he shared deeply personal insights into the sustained trauma of repeated childhood sexual abuse. Tragically, Stuart took his own life in May 2018, aged 60.
This February, Stuart, a retired assistant orthopaedic surgeon, and his wife Janet viewed the episode before it went to air. Stuart then emailed the producers to thank the ABC for the opportunity to share his story, writing: ‘WOW! Gobsmacked. Speechless. Brilliant. A.MAZING!… Janet and I are both so very impressed and very grateful. WHAT a special ‘ministry’ you guys have of bringing these stories to everyday Aussies…Thank you.’
In memory of her husband, Janet and her family called for donations to the Survivors & Mates Support Network – a western Sydney group Dr Kidd worked closely with before passing away
Stuart was an advocate for all survivors of abuse and worked with the Survivors & Mates Support Network (SAMSN), a western Sydney-based peer support group for male survivors of childhood sexual abuse.
You Can’t Ask That series producer/director Aaron Smith said: ‘In the very short time we knew Stuart, we were struck by his honesty, openness, strength and resolve in dealing with traumatic childhood experiences. Stuart’s contribution to You Can’t Ask That will have a lasting and profound impact on the audience, helping to reduce stigma and increase awareness and understanding for survivors of sexual assault. We share our heartfelt condolences with Stuart’s family and friends.’
Stuart’s wife Janet said: ‘I watched the episode of You Can’t Ask That with Stuart in February and he was pleased with it. It was tough, but we are all proud of him for putting his story out there and we all think it’s well done and powerful. My husband was a survivor of complex early childhood trauma for over 55 years. He had been sexually assaulted from a disgustingly early age. He never stopped trying to find help and healing. He was acutely aware of the terrible effect his struggles had on us, his family.
‘In the 1990s, he found support through ASCA, now the Blue Knot Foundation; and I was told that my children and I were secondary survivors of his abuse. Years later, after putting an enormous effort into being the very best doctor, husband, father and grandfather that he possibly could be, my husband became even more deeply depressed as he saw the struggles of our adult children to find healing for themselves, from the consequences of growing up seeing him struggle.
‘SAMSN has kindly begun a fund in his memory to support family members of male survivors of sexual assault. Please help by making a donation. We needed it, others need it, too.’
Donations can be made to Survivors & Mates Support Network