Teenage girl ‘called to heaven’ week after rescue from Emerald Isle waters


Paige Mericle (GoFundMe)

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EMERALD ISLE, N.C. — A 17-year-old girl’s life is coming to a close days after she was rescued from the waters off Emerald Isle, according to the teen’s family.

Paige Mericle, from Raleigh, may be taken off life support sometime before this weekend.

The teen’s  father, John Merical, and aunt, Meredith Jarrell, shared the tragic news in the Wake Forest Community Information Facebook group.

“I wish I had good news for everyone,” her father wrote. “Paige fought a tough fight, but her brain was too severely damaged. We get to love on my baby for the next few days, with organ donation Saturday.”

Her aunt added that Paige Mericle was “called to heaven far sooner than we ever thought possible.”

“Please make sure you hug your kids a little harder tonight, and call your mom and dad and tell them you love them,” Meredith Jarrell wrote.

The girl had been swimming with 18-year-old Ian Lewis on Friday when they got caught up in the rip tide, according to a family GoFundMe page.

Emerald Isle Fire Department responded to a distress call at Emerald Isle beach and found Mericle.

She was taken to Carteret General Hospital and later moved to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville in serious condition.

“They believe Paige was under water for 14 minutes,” according to a post on the Emerald Isle, N.C. Facebook page on Monday.

Crews were unable to find Lewis until 3:30 a.m. Monday near the 2800 block of the Emerald Isle Beach Stand. He was dead.

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