A young Brisbane woman who had “plans to travel the world” has “tragically and suddenly” died in front of her parents during a family dinner.
Dani Duchatel, 26, went into cardiac arrest just after 10 p.m. on Sunday, May 21, while having dinner and playing cards with her parents at their home in Moreton Bay.
The government worker had recently broken her leg and was staying with her parents while recovering from surgery.
Doctors believe due to the surgery, a blood clot had formed and caused a pulmonary embolism, although they are still awaiting autopsy results.
Her mother, Kay Duchatel, attempted CPR but Daniella could not be saved.
Duchatel announced her daughter’s tragic passing on Facebook on Tuesday.
“It is with the greatest sadness that I inform you all that our daughter Daniella Jade Duchatel passed away peacefully last night,” she wrote.
“We will update you all with funeral details in the coming days. Please give us some time to come to terms with our loss.”
Family friend Chantelle Lay has started a GoFundMe, which has already raised more than $15,000 out of a $20,000 target.
“Her family would appreciate your financial support at this time,” Lay wrote.
“It allows them to be home, to take the time to mourn the loss of their daughter, and to help pay for costs associated with Dani’s funeral. Any help big or small would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your support at this time.”
Friend Janis Michel posted a tribute to Daniella on Instagram, saying she was struggling to “comprehend the pain and sadness”.
“Your love and kindness was so pure and being around you made me want to be a better person,” she wrote.
“The time spent with you have been some of my happiest moments of my life, from falling asleep on the sofas watching friends to fighting off frogs in the rainforest I cherish it all and will forever remember our amazing memories and time together. I love you my sweet angel. Rest easy, and I will see you again. For now like you told me I will go gallivanting the world for the both of us. I miss you so much my sister.”
Earlier this year, Daniella announced she had finally managed to purchase her first apartment.
“After months of stress and excitement and confusion I am finally a homeowner!” she wrote on Facebook in January. “Settlement of my very own apartment has been completed and I am so excited and nervous to start this new chapter!”
Speaking to The Courier-Mail, Lay said the family were “absolutely devastated and will be taking quite some time off work”.
She described Daniella as a special young woman who had big dreams that she would never get to live out.
“Dani was a very quiet but vibrant person,” Lay told the newspaper.
“She was jovial and funny. A very empathetic and kind human being. She was a real gentle soul. She was the kind of person who would do anything to help anyone and was very loving and supportive of everyone.”
Lay said Daniella had gone on many overseas adventures and had planned to do more traveling.
“She loved quilting, reading, and traveling,” Lay said.
“She’s spent a lot of time overseas traveling with Kirsty, her best friend from primary school. She was a big reader and just loved books and was also an animal lover. Dani had this massive dog and had just adopted a new kitten. They’re gorgeous and she adored them.”
She added, “She had plans to travel more and see the world. She would have gone everywhere and anywhere if she could. She just wanted to see and experience it all.”
More than 130 people have donated to the fundraiser as of Friday.
“This never would have happened without your support and sharing,” Lay wrote. “Thank you all so incredibly much for your kindness and generosity.”