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EATON: Hope for a broken heart

From the Newsroom

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Please forgive me for a few minutes as I get a little personal.

Sunday afternoon my wife and I received a text message that left us stunned.

“Cassie is in a coma at hospital. Her heart stopped last night. It is looking like there may be significant brain damage. They have lowered her temperature. Please join us in praying.”

Cassie Nelson is married to my cousin Eric. She’s a year or two older than me. They live in Boise with their adorable 4-year-old daughter Scout.

nelson familyjp

Saturday night they went out to eat as a family, but Cassie wasn’t feeling well. Eric took her home and she insisted he take Scout back out for some dinner.

He returned home 90 minutes later and found the love of his life not breathing on their bed. He performed CPR until EMT’s arrived. She was rushed to the hospital where she’s been in a coma ever since.

Doctors say Cassie suffered a stress-induced cardiomyopathy – also known as broken-heart syndrome. A portion of her heart apparently became paralyzed and prevented the rest of the heart from circulating blood to her body.

She’s in the ICU, not breathing on her own, and doctors don’t have a lot of answers.

Eric sits by her side and Scout passes the time by riding Trudy, a large stuffed horse, around the lobby of the hospital.

I can’t stop thinking about them.

Eric was my favorite cousin growing up. Every summer, his family would drive from Omaha to visit my family near Salt Lake City. We’d have water fights, sneak out of the house to visit girls, ride our bikes to the store for soda and candy, and toilet paper the neighbors yards.

I have old cassette tapes of us goofing around, telling jokes and making prank calls. We’d stay up late talking about what we wanted to do when we got older and he’d tease me endlessly about my love of country music.

Eric went to BYU-Idaho and studied journalism. So did I. That’s when I first met Cassie. She was beautiful, kind, smart and the perfect fit for my cousin.

They were married on a hot Boise summer afternoon and, after moving around, ended up settling down in the Treasure Valley.

They adopted Scout and Cassie started her own design and photography business as Eric continued to practice law. Life was good.

Now this.

So much heartbreak, sorrow, fear, doubt, anger, grief, pain…and love.


As word of Cassie’s condition has spread, people from around the world are saying prayers and leaving messages of love on her Facebook page. The hashtag #RISEANDSHINEFORCASSIE is circulating on social media with a photo of Cassie wearing a shirt that says LOVE.

Right now Eric, Scout, Cassie, their families, our family, friends and many others are clinging to love.

And Hope.

Hope that Cassie will get better.

Hope that she will recover.

Hope that things will improve and all will be well.

A GoFundMe account has been established to help the Nelson’s pay Cassie’s medical bills.