An 18-year-old woman from Kent, England tragically fell to her death on Monday night 15 years after she survived her mother’s seven-story fall from their apartment.
Yazmina Howard was only a toddler when her 33-year-old mother, Maxine Carr, held her in her arms as she jumped from their seventh-floor apartment in August 2003, according to the Mirror. While Carr died from her injuries, Yazmina miraculously survived the fall but suffered several broken bones and damage to her skull.
In the aftermath of her mother’s death by suicide, Yazmina’s grandparents — Janet and Michael Howard — took her in their home and raised her.
On Monday night, less than an hour after the teenager texted her grandmother to let her know she was safe, Yazmina was found dead after she plunged from a bridge near her home.
“I got a text from her at 9:23 p.m. saying she was okay,” Janet told SWNS. “That was the last I heard. Whatever happened from then, we’ll never know — we don’t know what has driven her to this at all.”
Authorities do not believe Yazmina’s death is suspicious, KentLive reports.
In her grief, Janet reflected on the life of her granddaughter, who — against all odds — survived an unimaginable act at such a young age.
“Yazmina was a beautiful girl, inside and out, who would never hurt anybody,” she told SWNS. “She was an emotional person, which may have been connected to the trauma she experienced when we lost her mom, but she seemed to battle through it all.”
Because Janet and Michael had taken care of Yazmina for so long, their bond with their granddaughter was a strong one, they said.
“She’d call us Nan and Granddad but sometimes ‘Mom’ would slip out — she was more like a daughter than a granddaughter to us,” Janet explained. “Yazmina didn’t smoke, she didn’t go out clubbing… Even when she drank wine, she’d make sure it was vegan because she loved animals and cared about the environment. That’s the kind of girl Yazmina was.”
Michelle Sayers, Yazmina’s aunt, posted a tribute to her niece and confirmed her death over social media on Thursday.
“For those who knew my sister Maxine, her beautiful daughter Yazmina is now with her, angels together,” Sayers wrote on Facebook.
Yazmina’s grandfather, Michael, recalled that she loved art and math as a student in college, but was unsure of what she wanted the pursue as a career — and this uncertainty proved frustrating for her.
“She’d tell us, ‘I’ll have to start all over again or get a terrible job with terrible money,’ ” he told SWNS. “There are more and more children getting like this and they rarely get the help and support they need. It’s left a big void in our life.”
In the days after her death, friends left heartfelt messages to Yazmina near the bridge she fell from.
“Darling Yaz, we will remember your laughter,” one letter reads. “I wish you knew how much you were loved. Be at peace my sweetheart.”
How eerie…and tragic. RIP.