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Nov 22, 2013 12:23 AM by Samantha Ptashkin

Family remembers Vail woman whose death remains a mystery

VAIL, Ariz.- Jennifer Poarch was a dedicated nurse, mother of two and beloved wife, until this past week when her friends and family learned how quickly it can all be taken away.

On Tuesday, November 12, Jennifer was cleaning out her car at a car wash near Rita Ranch. Her husband, Kelly Poarch, says according to witnesses, she suddenly fell backwards and hit her head on the asphalt.

From there, the situation took a turn for the worse. Jennifer went into a coma and died five days later on November 17. It would have been her and Kelly's 23rd wedding anniversary. "Here's a 43-year-old woman who was healthy and she just fell over," Kelly says as he tries to wrap his brain around what happened.

"The only thing I keep playing in my mind is just why? I don't understand why?" Kelly says.

Doctors still can't explain what happened.

But while Jennifer's death seems to be a medical mystery, one thing has become clear in her passing: she is a woman who will be terribly missed.

"She was a pure angel," Michelle Guritz says.

Guritz worked with Michelle. She says they ate lunch together every day and the hospital they worked at won't be the same without her. "Her patients loved her, she was kind, she was gentle, she was patient," Guritz says.

A nurse who will continue caring for others even in her death. Kelly says his wife was an organ donor.

Her spirit will perhaps be most felt within her close knit family. After her death, her 20-year-old son, Ryan, posted a video to his Facebook page, showing when he surprised his mother at work after returning home from military training. Jennifer cries as Ryan hands her a bouquet of flowers.

Now it is a video the family will cherish forever. Jennifer's death is a reminder to everyone who knew her that life can change in an instant. "I will miss her laughter, her smile, her love, my friend," Guritz says.

Jennifer is survived by husband Kelly Poarch, son Ryan, daughter Meagan, mother Marcia Jacobsen, brothers Glenn (Patricia) and Richard (Carol), grandmother Marion Butler, aunt Ellen Bernardi (Art), cousins David Moxley (Kris) and Kristina Lynch, and nieces and nephews including Taylor, Connor, Joshua, Alexandra, Shane, Jenna, Hannah, and Camilla.

A celebration of her life will be held Saturday, November 23rd at 10:30 a.m. at St. Philips in the Hills Episcopal Church, followed by a reception to be held at Tohono Chul Park at 1:00 p.m.

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