SIESTA KEY, Fla. — Days after she drowned at Siesta Key Beach, loved ones continue to mourn for a Lake Wales 10-year-old girl they say they will always remember as vibrant, thoughtful, and caring.
What You Need To Know
- Irys Wright, 10, caught in rip current while playing in the water with friends
- Teacher Amy Rietschel: "This girl couldn't be sad."
- Family organizing walk in Irys' honor at her school on Friday
- GoFundMe campaign collecting donations for Irys' family
"Angelic" and "helpful" are just two of the ways people who loved her describe 10-year-old Irys Wright.
She had perfect attendance, she was a helper with her three siblings and a student that her fourth grade teacher Amy Rietschel said just stood out.
Rietschel told us about a time Irys asked her mom to reach out to Rietschel a couple of months ago, right before the educator relocated to New York.
“She came in carrying these flowers all wrapped up," Rietschel explained. "She came in with a present in a gift bag and I opened it up and it was pajamas — she said she wanted to make sure I stayed warm in New York."
Rietschel said Irys was sweet, caring and the best kind of student a teacher could ask for.
“This girl couldn’t be sad," she said. "I don’t think I ever saw her sad. She was just amazing. She literally was just an amazing, well-rounded little 10 year old."
That’s what made hearing the news about Irys’ death on Sunday even harder.
She was visiting Siesta Key Beach when she got caught in a rip current and drowned.
“I can’t imagine being the mom living with her, her whole life and then having to lose this angel, literally an angel,” said Rietschel. “She would do everything and anything for anyone at any time.”
That’s part of the reason Rietschel said she asked the family if it was okay if she stepped in to help. She started a GoFundMe campaign to help the young family bury their daughter, a campaign that has so far brought in $11,000.
In addition, Irys’ family will hold a walk in her honor at her school, Spook Hill Elementary in Lake Wales, at 6 p.m. Friday evening.