Josephine Gay's family says "Joey" was autistic, and although she couldn't speak, "she touched the lives of so many around her: teachers, therapists, friends, neighbors, all loved and cherished her. Joey was social and affectionate; she smiled, she loved hugs, and she even had a wonderful sense of humor. Her spirit was indomitable. She participated in rigorous therapy and treatment on a daily basis without complaint. She loved to play with her Barbie dolls, iPad, and computer, swim, swing, and be anywhere her sisters were."
Her family said they won't let the tragedy define Joey's life. They have established Joey's Fund, through the Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism as a way to "honor her inspiring and generous spirit." The proceeds will help families raising autistic children.
"It's our way of dealing with this pain and never letting go of her love," they said in the statement.