The cause of death for Illinois Representative Sean Casten’s 17-year-old daughter has been revealed.
As you may recall, Gwen Casten (far right) was found unresponsive in her family’s home on June 13. At the time, Sean explained on social media that everything seemed fine hours before her untimely death, saying she had eaten dinner with the family and then met with some friends. However, when the teen went to sleep later on, she never woke up again:
“When she got home, she said goodnight to Kara and I, texted a friend to make sure she got home OK, and didn’t wake up on Monday morning.”
Details about her cause of death weren’t released at the time. But now, the Casten family revealed that the teenager died of a sudden cardiac arrhythmia. In a statement posted to the congressman’s Instagram on Friday, they explained, “in layman’s terms, she was fine, and then her heart stopped.” And sadly, to this day, the relatives said it is unclear what caused the sudden arrhythmia – and they most likely will never know:
“We don’t know what caused the arrhythmia, and likely never will. Gwen was a healthy 2022 teenager. She ate well, exercised, got regular check-ups, didn’t suffer from any behavioral health issues, and had close relationships with family and friends.”
They then noted that Gwen was fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and had been “quarantined after occasional positive, asymptomatic COVID tests during the omicron wave.” At the time of her death, the family added:
“She had just come home from an evening with friends, went to bed and didn’t wake up. We are heartbroken, but we are not unique. Sudden, unexplained heart-failure among young, healthy people is rare but real. We are left grasping at the wrong end of random chance.”
The Castens concluded by thanking those who sent their condolences and donated to the Downers Grove North Friends of Fine Arts and March for Our Lives, two causes Gwen participated in before her death. They concluded their emotional statement, saying:
“We’ve cried again over each of your letters, messages, meals, and flowers, but they are appreciated. … It is a comfort to know how many lives Gwen touched over her 17 years. She had a big, beautiful, kind, loving heart. And it stopped, as all must. None of us know when our last heartbeat will come. The best we can hope for is that when our loved ones do pass, we will have no regrets about the time we were lucky enough to share. So hug the folks you love a little harder today. Be present in their lives. And spread your love a little farther. Because in the end, it’s all that remains.”
So devastating. You can read their entire statement below:
Our hearts continue to go out to the Casten family following this unimaginable loss.
[Image via Sean Casten/Instagram, MSNBC/YouTube]