Oct 042011
Authors: Erin Udell

More than three weeks after Sascha Franzel’s tragic passing, the Larimer County Coroner’s Office has released her cause of death — an acute asthmatic attack.

The manner of the 19-year-old CSU student’s death was natural, with other significant conditions contributing, including aspiration of gastric contents.

According to the Larimer County coroner’s office, these gastric contents, which made their way into Franzel’s lungs, did not cause her death, but decreased the function of her lungs.

Sascha’s parents, David and Sonia Franzel, described themselves, on Sept. 12, as “struck and overwhelmed” by the community support they experienced after traveling to Fort Collins from their home in Honolulu.

David Franzel also said many people approached he and his wife to talk about the positive impact Sascha had on their lives.

“As a parent, that’s what you want to read about and that’s what you want to see, what you want your kid to be,” David said on Sept. 12 during a gathering at the Chabad Jewish Center of Northern Colorado, where Sascha was active as an officer in the Chabad Jewish Student Organization.

Another significant condition included in Franzel’s death was albuterol intoxication.

Albuterol is an asthma drug commonly found in inhalers, which Franzel used for allergies to dog and horse dander.

Sascha had suffered from another asthmatic episode while visiting friends in Steamboat Springs last November, but recovered quickly after being taken to the hospital. According to her mother, Sonia Franzel, Sascha had instances of shortness of breath due to her allergies, but rarely suffered from any asthmatic attacks.

The toxicology report has officially been released, but the final autopsy report has not.

Franzel, a biology major from Honolulu, was found in her apartment on the night of Sept. 10. Her roommates were providing CPR when police and ambulance personnel arrived. She was then transported to Poudre Valley Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Franzel was active in charities and the Chabad Jewish Student Center at CSU.

“Obviously, it’s difficult,” said Alana Calhoun, a junior hospitality management major who grew up with Franzel. “I just can’t fathom that she left us so fast.”

News Editor Erin Udell can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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