"It's the decision we had to make ultimately because she wasn't going to come back to us," Tommy Clark, Nikki's uncle, said. "The only thing we could do is let her go so she could be happy."
On Saturday, the 11-year-old was walking up the stairs of her parents home with the rod when she fell and landed on it. The rod impaled her through the chest and out the back of her neck. Nikki managed to pull the rod out herself, but when she did that, it caused even more damage to her internal organs.
Clark said the 11-year-old girl’s family is holding up as best they can. Her friends and family were hoping for a miracle that never came.
The 6th grader had many friends at Pioneer Elementary in Weber County. Her classmates hand made get-well cards for Nikki, hoping she would pull through.
Her close friends told ABC4 Reporter Cristina Rendon they spent the day consoling each other and crying between classes.
“I was scared and I was shocked,” Alexis Harper, a friend, said. “I was thinking, what if that happened to me?”
Another girl, Oaklee Durney, considered Nikki her best friend.
“She always has a smile on her face and she is always laughing,” Durney said. “I just didn’t want her to die.”
Pioneer Elementary School Principal Lori Rasmussen delivered some of the get-well cards to Nikki before she passed.
“Nikki was just one of those students that was just an angel,” Rasmussen said.
Rasmussen said the 6th grade class donated a portion of their class funds to Nikki’s family. The school has also decided to change their annual charity drive called “Quarters for Christmas” to “Quarters for Nikki.”
Each grade level will collect quarters starting December 1, 2012 and donate the money to help Nikki’s family with medical expenses.
Clark said his family’s pain is eased by the outpouring of love and support from everyone who knew her.
“She was my world, like one of my own kids,” he added. “I’d give anything to trade places with her.”
Nikki was an organ donor. Services will be held at Nelson Funeral Home in Logan. She will be buried next to her great-grandmother at Hyde Park Cemetery.
The family has set up a memorial fund at US Bank to help with medical expenses under account number 153152943285.