An unimaginable loss. Katie Meyer‘s family is speaking out about what may have contributed to the 22-year-old’s death by suicide.
“The last couple days are, like, a parent’s worst nightmare and you just don’t wake up from it,” the soccer player’s mother, Gina Meyer, told Today through tears during an emotional interview on Friday, March 4. “It’s been horrific.”
Gina and her husband, Steve Meyer, revealed that they spoke to their daughter for the last time just hours before she was found dead in her residence. “She was excited, she had a lot on her plate. She had a lot going on,” Gina recalled. “But she was happy. She was in great spirits. … We’re still in shock. But we had no red flags.”
The athlete’s father chimed in, noting that Katie seemed like her “usual jovial” self during their final conversation. However, the couple noted that their child may have received a disciplinary notice from the university, which they believe might have had a harsh impact on Katie.
“Katie being Katie, [she] was defending a teammate on campus over an incident and the repercussions of her defending that teammate [were possibly resulting in disciplinary action],” Steven told Today, while his wife pointed out that the couple had “not seen” the alleged email describing the situation.
Gina continued: “She had been getting letters for a couple months. This letter was kind of the final letter that there was going to be a trial or some kind of something. This is the only thing that we can come up with that triggered something [in her].”
Stanford University issued a statement to the daytime show regarding Katie’s parents’ concerns, noting, “Our entire community is devastated by Katie’s death, and we share our deepest condolences with Katie’s family and everyone who knew her at Stanford, across the country and around the world. Katie touched so many lives. We are not able to share information about confidential student disciplinary matters. We as a university community continue to grieve with Katie’s family and cherish our memories of her.”
The late college student’s passing was announced on Tuesday, March 1, with a longer message being sent to the Stanford community one day later. Katie was captain of the university’s women’s soccer team, helping the school take home its third NCAA championship in 2019.
“I’ve never seen someone who’s put so much heart and soul into so many different aspects of her life,” teammate Sierra Enge told Today on Friday, while fellow athlete Naomi Girma added, “She just lived life to the fullest always.”
Though they were proud of their daughter’s accomplishments, Gina and Steve wondered whether Katie may have been taking on too much at once.
“There is anxiety and there is stress to be perfect, to be the best, to be No. 1,” Gina, who wore one of Katie’s sweatshirts in her memory during the sit-down, added. “We’re struggling right now to know what happened and why it happened, you know. We’re just, like, heartbroken. We’re so heartbroken.”
If you or someone you know is in emotional distress or considering suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).