Photo courtesy of Meghan Douglas
Courtesy of family friend Meghan Douglas
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- McKenzie Wilson died just days after complaining of not feeling well.
Family friends say the 15-year-old got sick Friday night, later had a seizure and then died four days later.
Her family released a statement today expressing their grief:
"We are heartbroken at the loss of our beautiful who was tragically taken from us far too soon. Through the 15 years she was with us, Mckenzie brightened the lives of so many people around her, and we are fiercely proud of the caring and wonderful young woman we raised. She will forever be in our hearts.
"Our family is truly touched by the flood of support from our friends and neighbors, and asks that you continue to hold us in your thoughts and prayers."
Although Mckenzie is gone, her friends still call her their miracle.
"It's a miracle what she's done to show that Christ is here and people are praying for her," said friend Meghan Douglas. "People who may not even believe but yet they're praying for her and her family because she was our miracle."
Douglas is one of Wilson's oldest friends. They met at Christ's Church Preschool when they were just three and Douglas says they've been friends ever since.
She and Wilson played softball together when they were younger, which brings back fond memories.
"We were on a separate team and I was in the dugout getting ready to go up to bat and she comes running out of the middle of her game, running to my dugout saying 'Meghan! Meghan! I hit my first home run!' And we just cheered!"
After a break to pursue cheerleading, Wilson got back into softball in high school.
"She really was a star player," Douglas said. "She had the gift."
She wasn't just talented in sports.
The teen had plans for college, and Douglas believes she would have been successful at anything she pursued, saying, "Through athletics, through education she would have lived her life to the fullest, I know she would have."
But Wilson's sudden death doesn't make sense to those who were the closest to her.
"It definitely makes you think if you're not feeling well," said Douglas.
For the last couple of days, Douglas said she has held out hope there would be a miracle for her friend. "When my mom told me she had passed I was like, 'What? What do you mean.' You don't want to believe it."
Others can't believe it either. A special page created for McKenzie on Facebook now has more than 900 members. Many have posted their thoughts and prayers for her family and some are wondering what happened.
"At this time, we really don't have a definitive answer," said Brenda Fenech-Solar of the St. Johns County Health Department.
Fenech-Solar said an investigation is underway and that tests have been done. The department is now just waiting for the results, which could take up to 14 days.
"It hit me last night," said Douglas. Reality is starting to set in that her best friend is gone, but she said she will not be forgotten.
Douglas said in her 15 short years, McKenzie Wilson touched a number of lives. "She really was an inspiration, a role model. So many people looked up to her."
Funeral arrangements are set for this Friday at 11:22 a.m. at Beaches United Methodist Church in Jacksonville Beach. The church said the time references the Bible verse Mark 11:22.
The church regularly has a service at that time on Sundays. The church said Wilson attended that service, and about four weeks ago gave her life to Christ in that service.
First Coast News