14-year-old dies from sledding accident injuries days after father's fatal heart attack


A 14-year-old Ohio girl sustained multiple injuries following a sledding accident just days before her father passed away from a heart attack. The girl, Eirelyn Zuercher, passed away shortly after.

Zuercher's mother explained that the young girl was taken off life support on Wednesday night after suffering a "detrimental brain injury" while sledding at the Cleveland Metroparks Hinckley Reservation.

Following the incident, she was rushed to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland. Upon visiting his daughter, the girl's father, Jared "experienced a massive heart attack that he did not survive." Dougherty Zuercher shared the details in a Facebook post.

"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," she continued.

Dougherty Zuercher also shared that her daughter was an organ donor and saved the lives of five other people through her donations. "Her spirit lives on through the gift of organ donation," the mother 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," she continued.

Zuercher, a student at Spring Garden Waldorf School, was preparing to attend St. Vincent-St. Mary High School, school officials reported. The school remembered her in a statement.

"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. 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," the statement continued.

The high school 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."

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