SPOTSYLVANIA COUNTY, Va. – A pregnant mother of four died suddenly Monday after she was stung by wasps working in her backyard.
Sarah Marie Schulzetenberg Harkins, 32, died at the hospital when an aneurysm in her brain burst, Harkins’ husband told Fredericksburg.com. Her unborn baby, who was to be named Cecilia Rachel, also passed away.
The aneurysm burst due to the stress the stings and an allergic reaction brought on, the article stated.
Harkins was a dedicated wife, mother and active member of St. Mary Catholic Church in Fredericksburg, her online obituary read.
“She recently initiated a women’s bible study for the parish home-school mothers,” it stated. “While home schooling her own children, she created a Montessori-style preschool program for the local home schooling co-op. She also ran a home business of designing handcrafted clay rosaries and jewelry, which sold worldwide. As a faithful volunteer at Mary’s Shelter crisis pregnancy center, she donated her handmade jewelry for fundraising events.”
In the days following after her death, friends, family and strangers have donated more than $100,000 to two funds set-up to assist her husband Eric and four children, seven-year-old Liam, five-year-old Analee, three-year-old Jude and one-year-old Mary Faustina. Mary was born with Down Syndrome.
“Sarah’s absence leaves a massive gap in the lives of these children,” a message on the YouCaring.com fundraising website stated. “Sarah’s husband Eric will need assistance in fulfilling his wife’s wishes for the children to have a faith-based education, continue on a wholesome and natural diet, and support a special needs child.”
A GoFundMe.com website set-up for the family has raised more than $97,000.
“I want to thank everyone who has helped to make Sarah’s memorial fund so successful,” a message on the site stated. “You are all amazing! In just 30 hours we are at $77,885! Thank you so very much!”
The Harkins family will receive friends from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, July 31 at Covenant Funeral Service, Fredericksburg, 4801 Jefferson Davis Highway.
A funeral mass for Harkins will be held Friday, August 1 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. Interment will follow at 3 p.m. at Bel Air Memorial Gardens, Bel Air, Md.