U.S. Rep. Sean Casten’s 17-year-old daughter died from ‘sudden cardiac arrhythmia,’ family says

Democrat Sean Casten watches election results come in with his daughters Gwen, then 13, at right, and Audrey, then 11, on Election Night in 2018 -- the night he won the 6th District seat. Gwen Casten died Monday morning, Casten's office announced. Daily Herald File Photo, 2018

Democratic U.S. Rep. Sean Casten’s 17-year-old daughter, Gwen, died in June from a sudden cardiac arrhythmia, the Casten family announced Oct. 7 in a written statement.

“In layman’s terms, she was fine, and then her heart stopped,” the statement read. “We don’t know what caused the arrhythmia and likely never will.”

Shortly before her death June 13, Gwen had appeared in a digital ad in support of her father’s reelection efforts. She also had interned on her father’s 2020 reelection campaign, the Daily Herald reported.

“Gwen was a healthy 2022 teenager. She ate well, exercised, got regular checkups, 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-19] tests during the omicron wave. She had just come home from an evening with friends, went to bed and didn’t wake up,” her family said in the statement. “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.”

Casten is seeking a third term representing Illinois’ 6th Congressional District in the Nov. 8 general election. He is running against Republican Keith Pekau, who is the Orland Park mayor.

Shaw Local News Network

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