Twin sisters from Colorado who gained national attention for their openness about a debilitating battle with obsessive-compulsive disorder were reportedly found dead Friday in a car near Royal Gorge Bridge Park.
The Colorado Springs Gazette reported that Sara and Amanda Eldritch, both 33, were found dead with gunshot wounds at the park’s rest stop. Fremont County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Sgt. Megan Richards told the newspaper that the Broomfield women appeared to have died in a suicide pact.
The Canon City Daily Record noted that in 2015, the pair became the first people in the state’s history to receive deep brain stimulation, a procedure used for patients with Parkinson’s disease, in an attempt to treat their debilitating OCD.
“Deep brain stimulation involves implanting electrodes within certain areas of your brain. These electrodes produce electrical impulses that regulate abnormal impulses. Or, the electrical impulses can affect certain cells and chemicals within the brain,” the Mayo Clinic explains.
A year later, Amanda and Sara appeared in a publication printed by Littleton Adventist Hospital, where they received the surgery. They told the publication that their OCD is in check, essentially giving them a new lease on life.
Our hearts are heavy with the passing of Sara and Amanda Eldritch. Our Littleton Adventist Hospital team first met the…
“I’m really excited to not feel like I’m at war with my own existence,” Amanda said.
“I can be functional enough to go get a job and make a difference. There’s a world out there I want to be a part of.”
While the women touted the surgery as a success, it’s not immediately known whether OCD played any role in their apparent suicides. However, a GoFundMe page started for the women’s mother indicated that they “succumbed” to some sort of mental illness.
Amanda and Sara also appeared on CBS talk show The Doctors in May 2017, where it was revealed that they sometimes spent up to 10 hours a day in the shower and would repeatedly clean their bathroom.
“When they were toddlers, putting on their shoes and socks was a long, drawn-out process because there couldn’t be any wrinkles in their socks and their shoes just had to be tied in a certain way,” the twins’ mother, Kathy, said at the time.
Coincidentally, Sara revealed on the show that they considered ending their lives in their late 20s due to the relentless condition. However, they went on to explain how the groundbreaking procedure has changed their lives for the better.
“We got the surgery three years ago, and, through a lot of work, it actually started to click and we actually saw a huge improvement,” Amanda said.
Amanda said they’ve had so many issues with their OCD that they’ve never worked on being apart from one another. Moments earlier, Sara makes a comment that seems ominous given their untimely deaths.
“We’re not ever going to part from each other,” she said.
[Featured Image: Sara and Amanda Eldritch/Youtube video screengrab]