A former winner of Miss Teen Universe has tragically died of a sudden heart attack just days after she turned 20.
Lotte van der Zee, from the Netherlands, suffered a cardiac arrest while on a skiing trip in Austria on the day before she turned 20 years old.
She was then placed into an artificially induced coma before she passed away on Wednesday.
The former beauty pageant winner, who had carved out a successful modelling career since she won Miss Teen Universe in 2017, was holidaying in the Austrian resort of Westendorf at the time she took ill.
It was her parents who broke the sad news of her passing on Instagram.
Their post read: “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. We would like to thank you all again for all the support and heartwarming messages.”
Alongside the emotional post, they shared a picture of their daughter.
Speaking to a Dutch newspaper, Bert van der Zee and Eugenie van het Hul, said that their daughter went out with friends, but had returned home ‘cheerfully and without health complaints’.
However, the next morning she didn’t emerge for breakfast. When they went to look for her, they found her unwell. That illness then ‘swiftly escalated in sudden cardiac arrest’ later on.
She was rushed to hospital and placed into a coma before she was transferred to Munich for specialist care. Once there, however, she reportedly suffered from organ failure.
It is not yet clear what caused the heart attack, her family have said that tests are ongoing to determine the cause.
Her mother said: “We were already told that we had to take into account the worst, but you cling to hope.
“Last Monday we saw that this hope faded. Lotte was up, you could see that.
“The last days Lotte’s organs started to go, while no more brain activity was measured.
“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.
“Lotte has had to endure a lot over the past few days. We did not want any further suffering.”
Horrible news. Our thoughts go out to her family.