From my brother, Stuart:
“My wife Quinn Parnes is the most loving, caring, kind, gentle, warm person I know. Our story started in October of 2016 with her messaging me on OkCupid. I was surprised that she was from England and messaged me but she had turned the distance limiter off and I was one of her highest matches in the world. We talked a ton online and on video calls. Eventually I did something very out of the ordinary and asked if I could come visit her. Our first date was a week long vacation in London. We explored until we could barely move. We visited Highgate Cemetery and it was there that I knew I had to ask if she would ever consider coming to the US. That summer, she and Indie came to Michigan for a two week vacation. We went to northern Michigan to our families lake house on Crystal Lake. She fell in love with it here. All the green and trees and water. I ended up visiting again a couple times and we decided to have a life together. We applied for a visa and after a long and difficult wait it was finally granted. Quinn, Indie, and Disco Dog got on a plane and flew to Chicago where I picked them up and drove them back home. We had to do it that way because of flying direct with a dog. This was in January and she was so excited to see actual snow (it doesn't really snow much in the UK). We got married in my friends living room on Feb 3rd of this year. Many of my friends in Michigan and through Magic the Gathering have noticed my absence from events and socializing. Quinn was ill. She suffered migraine headaches that would leave her in bed for days with extreme symptoms. I had been worried but hopeful that having good hospitals here would be able to provide her some relief. Weird things began to happen, she developed allergies to things like elastic, started having joint pains, numbness, fatigue. We were working hard with doctors appointments but each time tests came back normal and she felt worse. Things kept getting worse. We had to switch bedrooms because she could no longer do stairs. Her favorite pastime of spending time outside with her dogs was becoming too hard to manage. We started making plans to move to a new house that would be easier for her to maneuver because she had been using a wheelchair to get around. We went on vacation to our lake house and it was some of the best two weeks I have spent. We swam and visited local northern Michigan attractions. She was so happy. We cut our vacation short and came home to look at houses, found the perfect one, and things fell into place. We bought the house and it is closing soon. This was a ray of hope for Quinn to have some ability to move around the house and she loved the garden. We drove by every day and visited the house and even went to the open house just to look inside again even after the seller accepted our offer. A few days ago, my wife Quinn Parnes posted to facebook that we were married. She was always a private person as am I but it made me so happy to see. Things were coming into place and she was starting to seem happier and even a bit relieved from some of her joint pains. On Friday Morning, Quinn was the happiest I have seen her in a long time. She had me help her put on a summer dress and we got ready to go out as a family. We took the dogs and Indie and went to our new house. I dropped them off where they sat in the yard and dreamed up what to do with various parts of the garden. The dogs explored and met neighbors. I left to go on some errands and then picked them back up. We went to a barn sale where I was reluctant to buy Indie a knife and she took the money out of my hand and said "I got this" and came back with a knife, a lantern, and a curious George lunchbox. "I don't know, it just sparked joy and I thought you would like it". We went to get some fresh fruit for lunch and then went to the Saline park. It has a dog park and its on the river and Quinn and I wanted to take Indie there for some time. She had me take Tarot dog to the dog park while she and Indie stayed behind with Disco Dog. This is what I want to remember. This is what she wants me to remember.
She drowned on Friday. Indie found me in the park, he was wet and shaking. I found Quinn Parnes face down in the river. I pulled her out and onto the shore. I phoned 911 and did CPR and breathing and everything. I yelled and screamed for help louder than I ever thought I could and paramedics came and took her to the hospital. I spent most of Friday with police and in the hospital. They got her stabilized and on machines and were going to be bringing her body temperature up. I got a phone call this morning from the hospital that she had been brought to full temp and that she had a small amount of brain activity but it is fading. Later today I am going to have to go and talk to doctors and understand what is going to happen. I know in my heart that she was tired of being in pain and tired of getting no answers and getting worse. She had a really hard life but she told me all the time that her time here gave her hope and made her want to keep going more than anything. I am going to have to say goodbye to the person who I have been the most open and honest with in my life. She was so scared by her health and how bad it was getting. She knew that something was very wrong and she was getting rapidly worse. She suspected EDS, a genetic condition that affects connective tissue. We were working with a geneticist and were going to try and narrow things down and also check Indie as well. Friday was the day that she decided to make her perfect last day.
I don't know what is going to happen to me and Indie. USCIS and visa stuff are complicated. I am constantly fighting back tears and then remembering that Quinn would tell me that I didn't always need a "brave face". She loved Indie and our family more than anything.
I am sorry to my friends for ignoring you and being distant. I have been struggling. I am sorry I didn't say more about the good bits in my life. I am sorry for every time Quinn and I decided to postpone doing something because we were worried about money or health or something. I want everyone to make sure to really really think about the things that are important to them and maybe to try an activity that you have been postponing for whatever reason.
Quinn Parnes I love you with all that's left of my heart. -Stu
Quinn Parnes I love you mum and I will remember the morning it was the best , I love you. -Indie
I don't know what is next for me. I might need a break from Counseling for a while. Indie and I are likely going to continue with the plan of moving to the new house. I want to be social and see my friends again soon but I don't know when I will feel up to it. We might have a housewarming party / life celebration at some point, I will let people know.
I am stubborn and self-reliant and hate asking for help but I am gonna need some. I am overwhelmed by everything and drowning in medical bills.
Thank you everyone.”
“I went to the hospital this afternoon and talked with the team of doctors. Quinn's brain activity is basically zero and they are going to assess if she is a good candidate for organ donations of liver and kidneys. Depending on if there is a local match they will take her body to surgery. They are going to take her off assisted breathing devices once that process has been completed. She has meds going to keep her comfortable and her body out of pain.
I am so appreciative of the outpouring of support from everyone. I can't respond to everyone right now but I am reading each and every message and it means a lot.”
Thank you again.
Leah Parnes (and family)
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