U.S. Rep. Sean Casten's daughter, Gwen, died of abnormal heart rhythm, family says

  • Gwen Casten, 17, the oldest daughter of U.S. Rep. Sean Casten, died in June of an irregular heartbeat, her family announced Friday.

    Gwen Casten, 17, the oldest daughter of U.S. Rep. Sean Casten, died in June of an irregular heartbeat, her family announced Friday. Courtesy of the Casten family

 
 
Updated 10/7/2022 8:27 PM

U.S. Rep. Sean Casten's 17-year-old daughter, Gwen, died of a cardiac arrhythmia in June, his family announced Friday.

Arrhythmias are abnormal heart rhythms. They can have many causes, including heart attacks, heart abnormalities, thyroid problems and stress.

 

"We don't know what caused the arrhythmia, and likely never will," the Casten family said in a news release. "We are heartbroken, but we are not unique. Sudden, unexplained heart failure among young, healthy people is rare but real."

DuPage County Coroner Richard Jorgensen couldn't be reached for comment.

Gwen was found dead in the family's Downers Grove home early June 13.

According to her family, they ate dinner together the night before, and then Gwen went out with friends for a few hours. After coming home, she said good night to her parents and texted a friend.

In their statement, the Castens said they're grateful for the expressions of love they've received since Gwen's death.

"We've cried again over each of your letters, messages, meals, and flowers, but they are appreciated," the family said.

Casten, a two-term Democrat serving the 6th District, is seeking reelection this year. Gwen died about two weeks before his Democratic primary victory over fellow U.S. Rep. Marie Newman of La Grange. Casten will face Republican Keith Pekau of Orland Park in the Nov. 8 general election.

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