It seems fitting that the first chance I have to share this story is the October 1 feast day of St Therese of Lisieux, as it involves an inspiring woman of faith who died young:
Scott and Jenni Egan had spent four years caring for their terminally ill daughter Ellíe in their home in Dundas Valley in Sydney’s northwest when the unimaginable happened. Their healthy 17-year-old son Zack fell ill and died suddenly from a sinus infection.
Six months later, on 10 January this year, Ellíe finally died from her illness leaving her parents, and two sisters Leia, 22, and Zoe, 17, heartbroken but not alone.
For years their extended family, friends, work colleagues, schools and parish communities unleashed an avalanche of love, practical support and prayer.
The grief and trauma is still evident at times, but Jenni takes comfort knowing that Ellíe taught hundreds if not thousands about the power of faith that turns all things to good, even suffering, disability, and death.
“We can’t tell Ellíe and Zack’s story without mentioning our faith, because that’s the only thing that got us through,” she said.
Read the rest of the story at The Catholic Weekly.
Photo credit: The Catholic Weekly/Giovanni Portelli