A family in Ohio is weathering two tragedies after a 14-year-old girl died just days after her father suffered a fatal heart attack while visiting her in the hospital.
Eirelyn Zuercher was taken off life support on Wednesday night after suffering "detrimental brain injury" in a sledding accident, according to her mother Katie Dougherty Zuercher.
The teenager was rushed to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland on Saturday following the accident, Dougherty Zuercher wrote on Facebook.
When Eirelyn's father Jared arrived to the hospital, he "experienced a massive heart attack that he did not survive," Dougherty Zuercher said.
"Her daddy got to heaven just before she did, just like he got to the finish line first in every Mario Kart game they ever played together," Dougherty Zuercher wrote. "She used to wait on the front porch for him to arrive home from work to greet him with the biggest hug before he could even get in the house. I imagine he is waiting for her now with the same eager anticipation."
According to the mom, Eirelyn was an organ donor and she "saved the world for five individuals."
"Her spirit lives on through the gift of organ donation," Dougherty Zuercher said. "I can not tell you how much your support has meant to me these past few days. Thank you for sitting with me in this grief and holding space for my family. Your presence, even from afar, helps me feel less alone through all of this. Thank you."
The tragic sledding accident occurred at the Cleveland Metroparks Hinckley Reservation in Medina County, the Akron Beacon Journal reported.
Eirelyn was a student at Spring Garden Waldorf School and had been accepted to her mother's alma mater at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School, according to school officials.
In the wake of Eirelyn's death, her school released a statement, reading: "It is with heavy hearts that we mourn the loss of one of our eighth grade students and her father."
"Eirelyn gifted us all with her beautiful smile, her sense of humor and her many talents as a student and as a visual and performing artist," the statement from Spring Garden Waldorf read. "Jared was an active parent who looked for ways to serve the community with his head, heart and hands. Please join us in holding the entire Zuercher family in your hearts."
St. Vincent-St. Mary has also released a statement, saying, "We ask our community to lift the family up in prayer, especially wife and mother Katie and younger sister Noella, as they seek God's comfort and peace during this time."