"The Bachelor" alum Gia Allemand, who appeared on Season 14 of ABC's reality romance, has died at the age of 29. Her family has released a statement saying that she died following an apparent suicide attempt.
Word came out yesterday that the vivacious model had been admitted to a New Orleans hospital in critical condition after a “serious emergency medical event.”
Allemand was found Monday night by her boyfriend, NBA basketball player Ryan Anderson, and put on life support with Anderson and her mother by her side.
The statement from Allemand's family reads in part: "Due to a critical loss of brain and organ function, life support was withdrawn today. Ms. Allemand passed away peacefully with her mother, boyfriend, and other lifelong friends by her side. As a practicing Christian, Gia did receive the sacrament of last rites."
"Loved ones and fans will remember Gia Allemand as a caring woman who loved her family and was well-known for her compassion towards animals and mission to rescue homeless pets."
"Funeral arrangements will be forthcoming in another official statement once available. On behalf of the family, we sincerely ask for privacy at this time."
[Photos: More TV Stars We've Lost in 2013]
Anderson also released a statement regarding his lost love, saying, "I'm deeply grateful for all the love and support we have received from family, friends, and fans. Gia was the most beautiful person I knew inside and out, and she always smiled and made everyone else around her smile."
"She had such an amazing impact on my life and anyone that knew her was blessed," he continued. "All I have left is to cherish those memories we made together and help perpetuate the many values, faith, and love that we shared."
The reality star seemed healthy just a few days ago, tweeting a Bible verse and sharing an Instagram photo.
Allemand appeared on Jake Pavelka's season of "The Bachelor," finishing as the second runner-up, and later joined the first two seasons of "Bachelor" spinoff "Bachelor Pad." During Pavelka's season, Allemand was the sweet, bubbly, and beautiful girl everyone could root for.
On "Bachelor Pad," she engaged in a "showmance" with fellow contestant Wes Hayden, which broke up a relationship she had at the time. In Season 2, she surprised viewers and fellow housemates by walking off the show after feeling betrayed by ally Graham Bunn.
In May 2011, Allemand began dating Anderson, then playing for the Orlando Magic. As their relationship turned serious, she moved with the basketball player to New Orleans when he was traded to the Pelicans.
Her sudden and mysterious death has shocked her friends, including her co-stars from “The Bachelor” and “Bachelor Pad.”
Pavelka, whose heart Allemand vied for in Season 14, released a statement today: "I am in complete shock and devastated to hear the news about Gia. She was one of the sweetest people I have ever known. And a very dear friend. My heart goes out to her family during this very difficult time. We have lost an angel today."
"The Bachelor" host Chris Harrison offered his condolences as well: "We are absolutely devastated at the sad news of Gia’s passing. She was a wonderful person and we are all that much better for having known her and having her in our lives. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family and we will very much respect their privacy at this most difficult time."
Other members of “Bachelor” Nation tweeted their shock and sadness over Allemand’s passing:
My heart is so heavy right now, I remember meeting you for the first time & the huge smile on your face. You are in my prayers @GiaAllemand— Jason Mesnick (@jason_mesnick) August 14, 2013
Sad to hear @GiaAllemand passing. Thoughts & prayers go out to loved ones, family members, & all that were close to her. God got an angel.— DeAnna Stagliano (@DeAnnaPappas) August 14, 2013
The world has lost a truly kind and beautiful soul today. @GiaAllemand— Chris Lambton (@ChrisLambton13) August 14, 2013
My prayers go out to @GiaAllemand family. In shock right now. Was a blessing to call her a friend. :(((— David Levi Good (@DaveLGood) August 14, 2013
This is heartbreaking. :( @GiaAllemand— William Holman (@WilliamFHolman) August 14, 2013
More details to come...
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