Former Miss Teen Universe dies after suffering cardiac arrest a day before 20th birthday
19-year-old Lotte van der Zee was taken off life support on Wednesday after spending two weeks in a coma after suffering the cardiac arrest
A former Miss Teen Universe tragically died after suffering a cardiac arrest a day before her 20th birthday while on holiday with her family. Lotte van der Zee, from Enschede, east Netherlands, and who won the title in 2017, passed away on Wednesday, after spending two weeks in a coma.
According to the Limburger, Lotte was on a family skiing trip in Westendorf, Austria, to celebrate her 20th birthday when tragedy struck. Her parents, Bert and Eugeniek van der Zee, said that a day before she suffered the cardiac arrest, she had been out with friends and had returned to their hotel in a cheerful mood.
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However, the next morning, she did not come down for breakfast, and when her mother went to check on her, she found the 19-year-old unwell in bed. Her condition worsened through the rest of the day and she would go on to suffer a cardiac arrest.
Eugeniek managed to resuscitate her daughter, and the teen was subsequently admitted to a hospital where she was placed in an artificial coma. Last week, her parents transferred her to a hospital in Munich via helicopter in the hope that specialized neurological treatment would help save their daughter.
However, her health only continued to deteriorate. "It started with her kidneys," Eugeniek said. "She was then put on kidney dialysis, which kept her alive. But when it became clear on Wednesday that it would not be okay, she was taken off the machine. Lotte has had to endure a lot over the past few days. We did not want any further suffering."
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Eventually, all brain activity ceased. On Wednesday, her parents took the difficult decision to take her off life support, and less than half an hour after kidney dialysis was stopped, the 19-year-old passed away.
Eugeniek and Bert took to Instagram to confirm Lotte's death. They uploaded a picture of the teen posing in the snow in a red ski-suit and black beanie while beaming at the camera and wrote, "Our pearl, our everything passed away on Wednesday evening March 6th at 22:47. It is incredibly surreal that our dearly beloved Lotte is not around us anymore."
"Our hearts are truly broken," they continued. "We would like to thank you all again for all the support and heartwarming messages."
Eugeniek paid tribute to Lotte, telling Limburger, "It is so unreal. She was so full of life, so happy. Now she is the most beautiful star in the sky. Of course, you always want to keep your child with you. But we had to let her go. Out of respect for Lotte ... she deserved to be allowed to go. It's good for her. "