Published On: Tue, Oct 22nd, 2019

Ferrari F1 legend Jody Scheckter and family rocked by tragic death of 21-year-old daughter | F1 | Sport

Former F1 world champion Jody Scheckter has revealed he is “utterly heartbroken and totally devastated” by the passing of his daughter.Ila Scheckter, the second youngest of six children, had just begun reading Psychology for Counselling at the University of Westminster.But the 21-year-old died of a “suspected accidental overdose” in her sleep on Thursday night.

Her family announce she passed away a day before she was due to start treatment for her drug use.

A statement released to the Daily Mail read: “The Scheckter family are utterly heartbroken and totally devastated to announce the passing of Ila.

“Ila had been diagnosed with a brain tumour two years ago totally out of the blue and subsequently underwent major brain surgery.

“In recent months, she had developed epilepsy which resulted in her having extreme anxiety and fear of seizures.

“She lost her battle with addiction in trying to numb the fear and feelings that overwhelmed her.

“Ila found many wonderful friends and had so much support from the fellowship of Narcotics Anonymous.”

Jody Scheckter only won three of the 15 races during his triumphant 1979 campaign.

But he still claimed the Drivers’ Championship in Monza with two races to spare.

The 69-year-old returned to the scene of his success last month alongside his family, despite Ila being “really unwell.”

The statement added: “In September, despite being really unwell, she bravely and determinedly joined her parents, four brothers and younger sister in Monza for the 40th anniversary of Jody’s F1 World Championship.

“It was the last time the whole family were united and together they celebrated this milestone. Ila died in her sleep on Thursday night at home from a suspected accidental overdose, having made the brave decision to go into treatment the next morning.

“Ila wanted to be clean, healthy and happy and have a long and purposeful life.

“She had recently enrolled at the University of Westminster to study Psychology for Counselling as she wanted to be able help others with their mental health.”

The Scheckter family have now asked for privacy and to be given time to grieve.

“Aged only 21, Ila has been taken from our lives too soon and the pain our family feel at her loss is unbearable,” the statement continued.

“Ila is at peace, no longer suffering the fear of further brain surgery – awake, seizures, chemotherapy, radiation etc.

“Please respect our privacy to grieve the loss of a much loved daughter, sister and aunt. There will be a private family funeral and a memorial service later to celebrate her short life.”

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