A 23-year-old from Vancouver, Washington, has adopted her little sister after their mother died of a stroke in February and her father has been given just days left to live due to brain cancer Girl facing grief of losing both parents in just six months is adopted by her big sister An 11-year-old girl has been adopted by her 23-year-old sister after their mum died and her dad was given just days to live. Ezri Hart has taken on the care of her little sister Braidyn Neefe after her father, Michael, 49, was diagnosed with terminal cancer.
Ezri and Braidyn share the same mother, Erika Neefe, 45, who died last year after a stroke. Braidyn has now moved in with her big sister and her husband, David, 24, after Michael's condition worsened. It meant the 23-year-old had to learn how to become a parent overnight. She was formally adopted by the young couple in May.
Ezri, from Vancouver, Washington, manages a freight warehouse. She said: "When Michael got the cancer diagnosis, I had a pretty big breakdown. For all the latest news, politics, sports, and showbiz from the USA, go to The Mirror US Image: Ezri Hart / SWNS) Ezri Hart / SWNS) "Part of me was grieving for a life that I had planned for myself.
I'm only 23, and was living a pretty typical life of a 23-year-old which I was kind of enjoying. "Now I can't do anything without also planning to take care of Braidyn. My plan B was altered with Micahel as we thought he would have a year or two at least to live rather than a couple of weeks. "I'm trying to create a sense of normalcy for Braidyn so we can have a general life plan ahead.
She has had a lot of instability. I'm hoping we can get a nice place to live, and figure out how to work through all this." Image: Ezri Hart / SWNS) Ezri Hart / SWNS) Image: Ezri Hart / SWNS) Ezri Hart / SWNS) Erika suffered a stroke in December 2022, and Ezri said she then refused to take blood pressure medication as it "made her feel funny".
Braidyn's dad, Michael was diagnosed with glioblastoma, a fast-growing and aggressive brain tumour, in late 2022. Erika then had another stroke in February, which resulted in a serious brain bleed. She died on February 9. Braidyn moved in with Ezri while Micahel also moved to a separate house in Vancouver, Washington.
In June, Michael was given a maximum of three months to live, with doctors predicting he will die in less than three weeks from now. Image: Ezri Hart / SWNS) Ezri Hart / SWNS) A previous diagnosis gave Michael five years. But he deteriorated after he had an insurance issue when he moved to Vancouver and temporarily lost access to cancer treatment. Ezri said: "My sister Braidyn was born when I was 12.
Somehow I knew she was going to live with me at some point. "My mum had bad mental health problems. I thought this would be the reason why she would have to give up Braidyn, but it ended up being because she passed away. Image: Ezri Hart / SWNS) Ezri Hart / SWNS) "The day she moved in with me was the first time she'd ever been outside of the east of Washington state.
She came over from eastern Washington state. "It was the first time she had been near mountains and trees. It was a really strange experience. I was really sad and yet Braidyn was having all these new life experiences - she was happy in a lot of ways." A GoFundMe has been set up to help raise funds for Braidyn to be able to spend some precious time with her dad while he is still here and for his memorial.
They are trying to tick-off as many things as possible on Micahel's bucket list. Image: Ezri Hart / SWNS) Ezri Hart / SWNS) The fund has allowed Exri to take a trip with Michael and Braidyn to see Ezri's mother's ashes by the ocean. The local fire department even helped drive the family down onto the beach which is usually inaccessible. "The GoFundMe has been great, as we can't afford to do all these things all the time," explained Ezri.
"It's even allowing us to bring our mum's sister up to visit and spend time with. "We had bucket list [items] of different foods Michael wants to try, so we have been finding different restaurants. We had wanted to take Braidyn and Michael to Ireland, but it's not going to be possible now. Image: Ezri Hart / SWNS) Ezri Hart / SWNS) Image: Ezri Hart / SWNS) Ezri Hart / SWNS) "Instead, we found some Irish restaurants we're going to and a Korean restaurant he wants to try.
That part has been really nice - though I have a newfound appreciation for wheelchair access!" Ezri said that even though her family has managed to share some amazing experiences, it has been a lot to deal with. She's had to get to grips with parenting very quickly. Image: Ezri Hart / SWNS) Ezri Hart / SWNS) "Braidyn was brought up very sheltered," she said.
"She never really left her house and was home-schooled. "My mum had never taught her how to write. She's getting scheduled occupational therapy and has had issues with her muscles and feet not being developed properly from lack of exposure as well as speech therapy." However, Ezri says her sister has been a real inspiration to her.
She said: "She's doing amazing. She doesn't realise the tragedy she's been through, but is doing so well considering."