PaperTexture - Congressman Sean Casten's teenage daughter, Gwen, died of sudden cardiac arrhythmia

Congressman Sean Casten’s teenage daughter, Gwen, died of sudden cardiac arrhythmia

By CBS Chicago Team

CHICAGO (CBS) — Months after his 17-year-old daughter’s sudden death, Congressman Sean Casten’s office revealed she died of a sudden heart condition.

Gwen Casten died in her sleep on June 13. At the time, Congressman Sean Casten remembers late daughter, Gwen, as “happy, healthy, well adjusted young woman”, and it wasn’t until Friday that her cause of death was made public.

In a statement, the Casten family said Gwen died of sudden cardiac arrhythmia, an irregular heartbeat that caused her heart to stop. The family said they likely will never know what caused the heart condition.

 “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. She was fully vaccinated, and quarantined after occasional positive, asymptomatic COVID tests during the omicron wave. 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.

“We are grateful for the outpouring of love we’ve received over these past months. We’ve cried again over each of your letters, messages, meals, and flowers, but they are appreciated. We are also grateful for the donations to the Downers Grove North Friends of Fine Arts and March for Our Lives, causes that Gwen was actively engaged in during high school. 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.”

Gwen’s death came little more than two weeks before her father won the Democratic primary in his bid for a third term in office representing the 6th congressional district in Illinois.

Congressman Casten is facing Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau, the Republican nominee, in the upcoming November election.

Congressman Sean Casten’s teenage daughter, Gwen, died of sudden cardiac arrhythmia
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