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Sean Casten loses daughter to – what?

Rep. Sean Casten (D-Ill.) lost his daughter, 17, last Sunday night when she died in her sleep. Did she fall to Sudden Adult Death Syndrome?

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On Monday evening, Rep. Sean Casten (D-Ill.) announced that tragedy had struck his family. Apparently his daughter Gwen, age 17, had died quietly in her sleep. The obvious question is: how?

Sean Casten announces the death

Rep. Casten made the announcement on his blue-checkmark Twitter account:

This morning, Congressman Casten’s beloved daughter, Gwen (17), passed away. The Casten family requests privacy, and we will be issuing no further comment during this heartbreaking time.

Official statement by Rep. Sean Casten

The Chicago Tribune carried further details, but even these are sketchy. The Castens live in the Chicago suburb of Downer’s Grove. At 7:00 a.m., Downer’s Grove police responded to a call

for an unresponsive seventeen year old female. First responders determined that the subject was deceased.

Official Downers Grove Police statement

Sean Casten is facing a primary fight with a fellow Democratic incumbent. This is one result of a Census that cost Illinois a House seat. Gwen Casten recorded a campaign ad for her father:

She enthusiastically shared his political positions, mainly gun control and abortion. In fact she was part of March for Our Lives and even helped organize training in how to treat gunshot wounds.

What could have caused it?

Of course, CNAV expresses it condolences to Sean Casten and his family. Politics aside, Gwen Casten’s heart was definitely in the right place. The training she helped organize might save lives some day, and one can only applaud such a gesture.

But that leaves us with how she died, and why. We see no question of violence, and this home had no trouble in it. We have a girl dying in her sleep.

The problem is: we’re not used to seeing teen-agers, children, and young adults die so suddenly without apparent explanation.

In fact, Gwen Casten seems to be the latest statistic of a new epidemiologic finding: Sudden Adult Death Syndrome. If that sounds familiar, it should: it sounds very much like Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

Why are young people like Gwen Casten dying so suddenly, either in their sleep or after some athletic exertion? Further, why are we seeing this beginning this year – after two years of The Virus That Shall Remain Nameless?

Coincidence? You decide. But remember what a certain writer of thrillers said about coincidences. To paraphrase:

Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, and the third time it’s a pattern.

Ian Fleming (paraphrase)
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Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.

CATEGORY:Human Interest
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