"I just said to her, 'Be careful,' and she said, 'I'll try, Dad'," her father recalled the last thing he said to her.
Leah Pearse, a 20-year-old nursing student at Simmons University, died in an accident while on vacation in Cancun, Mexico early in the morning of January 6, 2023. According to an obituary, the keys to her room were locked inside the third-floor apartment she was staying in. Pearse attempted to get inside by climbing onto the Airbnb's balcony.
The young student unexpectedly slipped, fell, and died instantly. She is survived by her father, Reggie Pearse (Haverhill), her mom, Amy Goldfarb (Somerville), and her sister, Anna Pearse (Boston), her grandmother Judy Pearse (Wicklow, Ireland) and many aunts, uncles and cousins both in the country as well as in Ireland who will dearly miss her, per the obituary.
Leah "Lee" Pearse was locked out of her Airbnb in Cancún early in the morning on Jan. 6, when she tried to get inside through the third floor balcony. She slipped, fell and died instantly, according to her obituary. https://t.co/a72ovwUKc7— NBC10 Philadelphia (@NBCPhiladelphia) January 12, 2023
Pearse was pursuing her 5-year Master's in nursing at Simmons University and worked as a certified nursing assistant at Mass General Hospital. Pearse, who was born in Newburyport, Massachusetts, is being remembered as "an outstanding individual who encompassed the full range of human emotions with such a depth and compassion for others that her presence was bright and brilliant for all who knew her. So many people who have reached out to us have expressed that just a hug from Leah gave so much love and comfort. Leah needed an outlet for her love and desire to help others, so her greatest goal in life was to become the best nurse in the world."
Simmons University student dies in vacation accident in Mexico https://t.co/RcBrNxOC23— WBZ | CBS Boston News (@wbz) January 12, 2023
Simmons University President Lynn Perry Wooten told CBS News the campus is shocked and saddened over Pearse's death. "Known for her confidence, compassion, and sense of humor, Leah brought out the best in others. Her lifelong goal was to become a nurse and she was an outstanding student in the accelerated five-year Bachelor of Science and Master of Science nursing degree program," Wooten said in a statement. He added, "We extend our deepest thoughts and condolences to Leah's family, friends, and all those in our community impacted by this tragedy. Counseling and support services are available for students and employees."
Her family is also reeling in from the sudden death of Pearse and still trying to navigate through the grief of losing her. "The last thing I said to her," recalled her father, Reggie Pearse, "I just said to her, 'Be careful,' and she said, 'I'll try, Dad.'" Pearse was a hard worker who found joy in life and would light up a room with her personality. "She was extremely unpredictable, extremely quirky, extremely funny," recalled sister Anna Pearse.
Cover Image Source: Driscoll Funeral Home & Cremation Service