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After surviving suicide attempt, 11-year-old girl has message for those facing bullies

BOISE, Idaho -- "Give these notes and this book to people I wrote them to. Bye. If I die or on a machine, please do not keep it on. If there is no way, please do not keep me alive. Bye."

These heartbreaking handwritten notes were discovered in an 11-year-old Idaho girl's bedroom after her parents found her unresponsive around 2 a.m. Sunday morning.

Fox's Karen Lehr spoke to Sara Himmel. Bullying drove her to the brink, and nearly cost her her young life. She survived her suicide attempt, and she now has a message for others who face bullies.

"We knew something was wrong. We couldn't even see the color of her eyes, her pupils were so big," said Sara's mom, Amy. "She could not walk. She was covered in body fluids."

It wasn't until Sara and her parents arrived at the hospital that a family member discovered an empty pill bottle nearby, and those notes directed to each family member.

"I love you. Grow up to be someone stronger. Stronger than me."

Sara is now recovering in the pediatrics unit at Saint Luke's in downtown Boise.

"Yeah, I'm here because of bullying," Sara said.

Sara said the day before, she found notes on her school desk.

"They called me the b-word, and a stupid cow and a fat cow, and that I should go kill myself," Sara said.

So Saturday night, Sara told her mom she was going to bed early, and swallowed extreme amounts of multiple medications. She said she just couldn't shake those thoughts from her head.

"I was just thinking about what they put in the notes, and I thought I might've been better off," Sara said.

Doctors said if her parents hadn't found her until morning, she would have been gone.

Despite dealing with ongoing bullying issues at school, Sara's mom Amy said never in a million years did she expect this.

"Parents need to have conversations with their kids that bullying is not okay," Amy said. "I mean, I knew her feelings were hurt, and nobody is going to be happy when they're dealing with bullying, but I had no idea we were even close to what ended up happening. None. ... I didn't have any idea."

Now this brave survivor has a message for other victims of bullying:

"I want to tell everyone that you're not alone," Sara said. "Talk to someone."

And for Sara's parents, with a long road of emotional and psychological recovery ahead, hope their devastating weekend wake-up call will spark conversations among other parents and their kids.

"Even if it is normal banter between kids, you don't know how the kid receiving that is taking it. You don't know how personal that child is taking it," Amy said.

If you or a loved one is struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts, we have resources at fox4kc.com/youmatter.