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‘He Wanted People to See Him as a Strong Dad’

At midnight on New Year’s Eve, Brad Cardno, 31, was sitting with his partner, his hand on her pregnant belly, waiting for his unborn daughter to kick.

Mr Cardno had been eagerly awaiting the birth of his third child, the sixth to join the family he had established with partner Abigail Sims, The New Zealand Herald reported.

On the evening of January 1, the devoted family man took his own life.

The New Zealand man’s death sent shock waves through his family and friendship groups, who had seen him joyously post to Facebook just hours before.

Brad Cardno, 31, committed suicide on New Year's Day, leaving his family and friends shocked

Brad Cardno, 31, committed suicide on New Year’s Day, leaving his family and friends shocked

Hours before his death, he shared a joyous post to Facebook, celebrating the impending arrival of his daughter (pictured)

Hours before his death, he shared a joyous post to Facebook, celebrating the impending arrival of his daughter .

‘As the clock strikes 12 and the fireworks go off with people celebrating the New Year, I lay there listening to it all with my hand on my partners stomach, trying to feel my daughter kick, thinking this is the deal right here,’ he wrote at 12.09am on New Year’s Day.

 On New Year's Eve, Mr Cardno (left) was sitting with his partner Abigail (right), his hand on her belly, waiting for his unborn daughter to kick

Mr Cardno’s post was a prime example of why those he left behind were so confused in the wake of his passing.

 His friend Jean-Pierre Bouchet, who has set up a fundraising page to help raise money for the man’s funeral, told the Herald his friend had seemed ‘so fine’ recently.

‘That’s why we’re all so surprised. It’s something we’re finding very hard to understand,’ he said.

When Mr Cardno first got together with Ms Sims, eight years ago, he had been battling depression.

She told the paper even she had no idea her partner had started to struggle again, and said he had seemed content with his life up until his death.

Ms Sims, who is five months pregnant, believes her partner could have been helped, had he just opened up about his inner battles.

‘He was a fiercely proud man and didn’t want people to see he was struggling or had any weakness. He wanted people to see him as a strong man and father,’ she said.

‘It’s an old fashioned thing not to talk about your problems, you don’t cry. But it’s something you need to do.

‘If you don’t talk, people don’t know you need help.’

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