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Dad Dies of Heart Attack After Girl's Fatal Sledding Accident

'Her daddy got to heaven just before she did'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 1, 2021 5:10 PM CST

(Newser) – Tragedy hit twice in the same day for an Akron, Ohio family. After 14-year-old Eirelyn Zuercher suffered a brain injury in a sledding accident, her father died from a massive heart attack as he arrived at the hospital, Cleveland.com reports. The teen was taken off life support five days later. "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," mother Katie Dougherty Zuercher said in a Facebook post . "She used to wait on the front porch for him to arrive home 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."

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Dougherty Zuercher said Eirelyn was an organ donor and her death "saved the world for five individuals," People reports. St. Vincent-St. Mary High School asked the community to "lift the family up in prayer, especially wife and mother Katie and younger sister Noella." The Akron Beacon Journal reports that on Feb. 21, the day after Eirelyn's accident, 17-year-old Natalie Wilson broke her back and was partially paralyzed in a sledding accident at the same hill at the Cleveland Metroparks Hinckley Reservation. Hinckley Township Fire Chief Jestin Grossenbaugh said that in his 24 years with the department, there had been a few broken bones, concussions, and other injuries at the hill, "but we’ve never had any type of traumatic events that occurred like this weekend." (Read more Ohio stories.)

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