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Eaton: Cassie, you will be missed

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Cassandra Honn Nelson took her final breath late last night.

The 35-year-old mother, wife, sister, aunt, cousin and friend died peacefully in a Boise hospital bed with her husband, Eric, by her side.

Her unexpected death comes nearly two weeks after she suffered a stress-induced cardiomyopathy – also known as broken-heart syndrome. A portion of her heart became paralyzed and prevented the rest of her heart from circulating blood to her body.

Cassie is married to my cousin, Eric. He has been by her side for the past 12 days. So has their three-year-old daughter Scout – who, we’re praying, will have wonderful memories of her mother’s short time on earth.


When I wrote about Cassie last week, we were hoping she’d be able to bounce back. But doctors determined she had suffered debilitating brain damage due to lack of oxygen. While the rest of her body was relatively strong (including her heart), her brain would never function again.

Last Thursday, Cassie’s family gathered in her hospital room to say goodbye. She was taken off life support and for seven excruciating days, she slowly passed away.

Your kind thoughts and messages over the past two weeks have touched our hearts. Many of you, who don’t know Cassie or Eric, have been praying for them every day. A GoFundMe account was created to help pay for medical bills and within days, $25,000 was raised.

Thank you.

While Cassie’s untimely death doesn’t make sense, a message Eric posted on Facebook does. He wrote these words the night before his best friend was taken off life support:

The best thing to hold on to in life is each other. This evening I will sleep by Cassandra’s side and hold her with all the love I have; tomorrow and every day after I will hold her love, her beauty, and her memory with every feeling in my heart.

I am feeling a hundred different emotions but am clinging to love. Anger for losing Cass so early and envy for losing a life I expected are burdens that are simply too great to bear. I was able to have Cass for 13 incredible, adventurous, and beautiful years. And now she will remain what she has always been: the girl of my dreams.

Cassie, you will be missed.