Former Miss Teen Universe Lotte van der Zee died at the age of 20, two weeks after having a heart attack while on vacation with her parents.
The Dutch model’s death was confirmed by her parents on Thursday, in an emotional Instagram post shared on her personal account.
“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 💔,” her parents, Bert van der Zee & Eugeniek van het Hul, wrote, alongside two smiling photos.
“We would like to thank you all again for all the support and heartwarming messages," they added.
Lotte's parents first addressed her health issues in an Instagram from February 22, two days after she went into cardiac arrest.
“Dear friends, with the utmost sorrow we want to inform you about the reason behind Lotte’s public absence in recent days. Two days ago, during our holiday in Westendorf – Austria, Lotte started to feel unwell during the afternoon. A feeling that escalated quickly in sudden cardiac arrest,” they wrote.
“She has been taken to the nearest hospital where she is in a coma and is currently being kept to sleep under close supervision of the doctors so that she can monitor her health. Thank you in advance for the loving words about our daughter. We are grateful for the support of everyone and thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your love and positivity in these times when she needs it most,” they added.
In an interview with Dutch paper De Limburger, Lotte’s mother shared that although she and her husband hoped their daughter’s health would improve, during the last days of her life, Lotte’s organs began failing. “It started with her kidneys. 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,” she said, according to U.K. publication The Evening Standard. “Lotte has had to endure a lot over the past few days. We did not want any further suffering.”
The reason behind her cardiac arrest has yet to be determined.
Our thoughts are with Lotte's friends and family.