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Twin sisters battling OCD found dead in possible suicide pact

Twin sisters who received a pioneering surgery to treat their debilitating obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) were found fatally shot last week in what appears to have been a suicide pact, according to reports.

Sara and Amanda Eldritch, 33, of Broomfield, Colorado, had received deep brain stimulation surgery at Littleton Adventist Hospital in the spring of 2015. They were the first patients in the state to have OCD treated with this method. Before that, the sisters suffered from extreme anxiety and obsessive habits, including showering for 10 hours using an entire bottle of shampoo and painstakingly disinfecting every inch of their home, going through hundreds of latex gloves and bottles upon bottles of rubbing alcohol.

At age 16, they were diagnosed with OCD. The twins spent 15 years trying various treatments, including medications, counseling and other therapies that did not work for them.

That's when doctors decided to try deep brain stimulation surgery, which is sometimes used to treat Parkinson's disease. The procedure works by inhibiting the part of the brain that's overactive.

According to an article published in Littleton Adventist Hospital's spring 2016 magazine, before the operation, Sara and Amanda "felt at war with their own existence. And in a desperate cry for help as adolescents, they tried taking their own lives."

"This surgery has changed their lives — and saved their lives," their mother, Kathy Worland, added. 

Twins Imprisoned by Their OCD by The Doctors on YouTube

The twin sisters were featured on an episode of CBS's "The Doctors," where they talked about the procedure and said that it helped them improve.

According to the Fremont County Sheriff's Office, Sara and Amanda's bodies were found in a vehicle near Royal Gorge Bridge and Park, The Gazette reported. The sheriff's spokeswoman, Sgt. Megan Richards, told the paper they appeared to have died in a suicide pact and there is no threat to the public.

A GoFundMe page set up for the family describes Sara and Amanda as "amazing young women with big smiles and even bigger hearts. Unfortunately, they suffered their entire lives with OCD. ... Their progress after the surgery surpassed all expectations and they packed an entire lifetime into the last three years.  But, there is no cure for mental illness, and they finally succumbed to this insidious disease."

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