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Herculaneum crowd rallies around family touched twice by rare, deadly illness

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HERCULANEUM, MO (KTVI)- A family in mourning was lifted up Friday night before Herculaneum took on Valle Catholic on the football gridiron. People gathered on the football field for a balloon release and a moment of silence for the Miller family.

Four years to the day he lost an infant son to Very Early Onset Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Andrew Miller, a high school teacher, lost a daughter to the same illness. Eliza Hope Miller would have turned three next month. Her brother Seth was one when he passed away.

The family has kept a blog and a Facebook page to share updates, and a Facebook post yesterday seemed to portend what was to come:

“Eliza had another rough night last night. In some ways it was her worst yet. She looks different. We have been feeling for a few days that perhaps it was time to let go.

Dr. Davies came in this morning and let us know that she thinks we’ve finally arrived at a fork in the road. Upon discussion we have come to agree that Eliza is ready to rest. We have done all that is humanly possible, and, although we feel quite conflicted and uncomfortable with letting her go, we also know it is the right thing to do.

Sometime between now and tomorrow she will pass into the spirit world. Almost certainly it will be on the same day as her brother’s death, showing the divine providence in it all.

We appreciate your prayers and concern. Please pray for Eliza that she will be brave and be able to go peacefully at the appropriate time.”