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14-year-old Akron girl dies following sledding incident in Hinckley

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Posted at 11:09 AM, Feb 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-26 19:09:15-05

CLEVELAND — A 14-year-old girl who was hospitalized last weekend following a sledding incident in Hinckleyhas died after suffering a detrimental brain injury, according to a Facebook post from her mother.

Eirelyn Zuercher, 14, of Akron, was hospitalized with serious injuries at MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland on Saturday.

According to her mother, Katie Dougherty Zuercher, her father Jared died when he arrived at the emergency room that day after having a massive heart attack.

Eirelyn and Jared Zuercher
Eirelyn Zuercher with her father Jared Zuercher.

On Wednesday, Eirelyn, who is an organ donor, was taken off life support, according to her mother.

“Last night, Eirelyn saved the world for five individuals. Her spirit lives on through the gift of organ donation,” Eirelyn's mother wrote on Facebook.

"I am so grateful for the support I have received since the tragic accident," Eirelyn's mother said in a statement to News 5. "The staff at MetroHealth and Lifebanc graciously carried my family through some of the most difficult hours of our lives. It is a gift to know that my daughter's generous spirit will carry on through the lives of organ donor recipients."

Eirelyn was a student at Spring Garden Waldorf School in Copley. She was accepted to St. Vincent-St. Mary High School.

School officials at Spring Garden Waldorf School released the following statement:

Our community has suffered a tremendous loss. Eirelyn was a deeply kind and loving person, an incredible big sister, a talented artist, and a treasured student in our school. Our hearts ache for Zuercher family, Eirelyn’s peers and teachers, and the entire Spring Garden community as we grieve the loss of a child and her father who both left us far too young. We are holding the family in our hearts and will continue to support them, and our community, in any way possible.
Eirelyn Zuercher.

St. Vincent-St. Mary High School issued a statement offering condolences to the Zuercher/Dougherty family.

In part, the school said, “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.”

Eirelyn was a newly accepted member of the 2025 class and participated in drama camp, following in the footsteps of her mother, the school wrote.