Former Miss Teen Universe dies after suffering heart attack just before 20th birthday

Dutch model Lotte van der Zee died Wednesday after suffering a heart attack while on vacation in Austria. The former Miss Teen Universe was in a coma for two weeks after going into cardiac arrest the day before her 20th birthday, Dutch website AD reports.

<span>The 20-year-old from the Netherlands won Miss Teen Universe in 2017.</span> (Photo: Lotte van der Zee via Instagram)
The 20-year-old from the Netherlands won Miss Teen Universe in 2017. (Photo: Lotte van der Zee via Instagram)

Van der Zee, who was from Enschede in the eastern Netherlands, won Miss Teen Universe in 2017.

“It is incredibly surreal that our dearly beloved Lotte is not around us anymore,” her family wrote in an Instagram post announcing that she had passed. “Our hearts are truly broken. We would like to thank you all again for all the support and heartwarming messages.”

Van der Zee was on a birthday ski trip with her family in Westendorf, Austria, at the time.

Her parents told the local Dutch paper De Limburger that she had returned from a night out with friends “cheerfully and without health complaints” the night before the heart attack. They said they went to check on her the next morning and realized something wasn’t right.

She was taken to the hospital, where she was placed in a medically induced coma. She was later transferred to an academic hospital in Germany, according to an Instagram post from her family, but she suffered organ failure.

View this post on Instagram

Lieve allemaal, “Als je verdriet met elkaar deelt kan je verdrietig en gelukkig tegelijk zijn.” Dit is iets dat jullie ons de afgelopen week hebben laten voelen. Daarom willen we jullie ontzettend bedanken voor alle mooie berichten en voor jullie oprechte en liefdevolle steun. Het is prachtig om te zien hoeveel mensen intens met Lotte en ons meeleven. Hoewel de machteloosheid ons in eerste instantie liet denken dat we er alleen voor stonden hebben we uit alle steunbetuigingen juist kracht weten te putten en we zijn ervan overtuigd dat Lotte dit ook zo voelt. Wij ervaren jullie steun als werkelijk hartverwarmend. Lotte’s situatie is helaas nog onveranderd. Wel is ze inmiddels overgebracht naar een universitair ziekenhuis in München, waar zij nog steeds in kritieke toestand onder intense supervisie van artsen in slaap wordt gehouden. We wilden dit graag persoonlijk met jullie delen en waarderen het respect voor onze privacy gedurende deze moeilijke tijd nog steeds enorm. Neem bij vragen alsjeblieft contact op met het management van Lotte. Liefs, Haar ouders – Bert van der Zee & Eugeniek van der Zee van het Hul Dear all, "If you share grief with each other you can be sad and happy at the same time." This is something that you have made us experience this past week. That is why we want to thank you for all the beautiful messages and for your sincere and loving support. It is wonderful to see how many people are intensely involved with Lotte and with us. Even though the feeling of powerlessness made us think that we were in this alone at first we were able to draw a massive amount of strength from all your loving support. We are convinced that Lotte feels this too. Lotte's situation is unfortunately still unchanged. However, she has now been transferred to an academic hospital in Munich, where she is still kept a sleep under intensive supervision of the doctors in order to monitor her health. We wanted to share this with you personally and appreciate the respect for our privacy during this difficult time. If you have any more questions, please contact Lotte's management. Love, Her parents – Bert van der Zee & Eugeniek van der Zee van het Hul

A post shared by LOTTE VAN DER ZEE (@lotte_zee) on Mar 1, 2019 at 10:11am PST

Her parents plan to have tests done to determine what brought on the sudden heart attack.

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