Mother of NC State student who died of ibuprofen toxicity blames course load

ByDeJuan Hoggard WTVD logo
Thursday, October 12, 2023
Mother of NC State student who died last semester shares her grief
Skye Barnes died inside her dorm at Sullivan Hall on the campus of NC State University on February 11, 2023.

RALEIGH, N.C. -- It has been eight months since Fara Eve Barnes has been without her daughter, Skye.

Skye Barnes died inside her dorm at Sullivan Hall on the campus of North Carolina State University on February 11.

"She gave the most amazing hugs. Her hugs were not just a quick release," Barnes' mother said. "I miss the things that never happened that we get to have and are blessings in our lives."

Barnes' autopsy listed her cause of death as an atrial fibrillation due to ibuprofen toxicity.

The ibuprofen overdose, according to Barnes' mother, was due to the amount of work her computer science major daughter was taking in the spring semester.

"She had communicated how overwhelmed she was with the class load. That all day every day was consumed to do homework for these 19 credits that she was guided into taking," Barnes said. "There had not been an intention. This is the commonality in these stress casualties. You're not finding this suicide note. Somebody hadn't made a plan. They're not thinking about ending their life."

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Barnes told ABC Raleigh-Durham affiliate WTVD she could tell something was off with her daughter due to the course load and text messages they had exchanged.

"She was so sorry that she was so confused. She, laying there (in her dorm) so confused, as she was going through this process of dying, and her overwhelmed from the stress of what I consider to be caused by the classes," Barnes said. "And the lack of a more aware and effective curriculum, and how it's given to freshmen was that her brain had not shut off. It was problem-solving. It was attempting to problem solve something that appeared like a problem. Just like all the problems she was solving every day."

Skye Barnes (Photo Credit: Fara Barnes)

WTVD reached out to NCSU about the death of Skye Barnes and her mother's claims that more could have been done to prevent her daughter's death and other students.

A university official responded by saying, "The loss of any life in our community is heartbreaking, and we share in grief with Skye's family and friends. Words do little to console, but we remain committed to continuing to do all we can to support our community."

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health concerns and would like help, text or call 988 for help and assistance.