Berit Rebecca Cooper was born at Evergreen Hospital in Kirkland, Wash., on September 19, 1995. She died of unexpected complications of AHC (Alternating Hemiplegia of Childhood) on Aug. 30, 2011. She was the third daughter of Laura Cooper. Her sisters are Ingrid and Hannah Cooper also of Washington. She was raised in Woodinville in The Farm where she loved taking walks and playing in her yard. She attended Hollywood Hill Elementary and Woodmoor Elementary. Her favorite activity while in elementary school was to swim in the Woodmoor pool. She attended Northshore Junior High where her favorite class was science and then Skyview Junior High where her favorite class was art with her cousin Erik.
Berit was born with a very rare disorder called AHC. She had wonderful compensatory skills and just lived her life with determination. It was a mostly typical life for a very high spirited young lady with a big personality. She loved to sing and dance, she had a great fashion flair and was very girlie. Her best and worst quality was her independence. She could do everything! She loved her family and looked forward to how each day would unfold. She had great plans for her future, as did everyone who knew her. She was loved by all.
I would like to give my sincere thanks and appreciation to the staff at Swedish Hospital in the PICU. For 4 months their dedication to Berit and support of my family and me was amazing. A special thank you to Dr. Marcio Sotero, Berit’s neurologist, who allowed me to hope for the best and prepared me for the worst.
Her mother Laura, and sisters Ingrid and Hannah Cooper survive her. She is also survived by her half brother Chad Cooper who lives in California with his wife and two daughters. She will be greatly missed by her beloved grandfather, Robert Dahl of Bothell, her special Aunt “Teffy,” Stephanie Dahl, her Uncle David Dahl and her very cool cousins Tyler, Austen and Erik Dahl, all of Woodinville. Two other men in her life are John Dapper, Ingrid’s boyfriend, who Berit adored and has known since she was 7 and Alak Kittleson, Hannah’s boyfriend, who delighted in teasing her.
Her father and paternal grandparents of California survive her. Her father had chosen not to be part of her life long ago.
Berit’s guardian angel, her grandmother Patricia Anne Dahl, was waiting for her in heaven.
Berit’s service was on Sunday, Sept.11, 2011 at the Community United Methodist Church in Woodinville. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The Berit Rebecca Cooper Memorial Fund at any Bank of America.
Berit’s last gifts were for others. She desperately wanted the doctors to cure AHC for the “other kids.”
To that end, her brain, brain stem and spinal column were donated to the University of Utah for research on AHC. She also donated her long, beautiful hair to Locks of Love. She had done this once before when she was 13.
She loved unconditionally. She lived with passion. She loved life. There will never be another like her. She was, in a word, splendid, the meaning of her name.
Berit: I love you every minute of every day for as long as I live. No matter what … Mom.