Parents' moving tributes to 'beautiful daughter' who died from a strep infection


"She's my best friend, my partner in crime, my love fairy, my selfless warrior princess."

The heartbreaking CaringBridge journal entries of Chris and Amee Banks, describing their final moments with their beloved daughter Persephonee Norma Nefzeger Banks, are inspiring people across Minnesota.

The 5-year-old tragically died Thursday after collapsing with a rare strep infection last Sunday, and her moving tale has inspired many already, with a GoFundMe site set up in her memory raising $22,000 in just three days.

She had been struggling with her breathing in the days prior to her collapse and had been given a steroid to help with respiration.

But it emerged she had a bacterial strep that doesn't show itself on throat cultures, according to Chris Banks on the GoFundMe site, who wrote after her collapse: "Eventually, the doctor told us the 8 words that ended all the joy in my life: 'I believe your daughter is going to die.'"

The Brooklyn Center couple spoke with KARE 11, describing their daughter's love of life and unusual taste in music, with Weird Al a favorite of hers (particularly Amish Paradise and Jurassic Park!)

"I want to remember her as she lived. Happy and full of life and energy and I want everyone to know that," Chris told the news station.

Even in death, Persephonee continues to help, with her donated organs already having saved the life of a boy the same age as her, with more set to benefit from her donations.

Since Thursday, her parents have continued to share their memories of their daughter, their grief over her passing and the inspiration that she will leave behind, on CaringBridge.

"You taught me as much about compassion and sharing as I ever did about reading and math," her father wrote. "I will spend every second I have left on this earth using your lessons to lead a better life."

The Star Tribune notes that a celebration of Persephonee's life will be held 10.30 a.m. Saturday at the Salvation Army Lakewood Temple, 2080 Woodlyne Ave., Maplewood.

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