On Tuesday, March 29, beloved actress Patty Duke passed away leaving millions of fans in shock. Following her death, a statement was issued by her representatives that read stated her cause of death as "sepsis from a ruptured intestine."
The statement puzzled many as sepsis is a term few associate with death. However, those who has lost loved ones or have suffered sepsis themselves see Duke's death as a way to raise awareness. Thomas Heymann, executive director of the Sepsis Alliance said that tragic as her death was, it was a huge milestone for the sepsis awareness movement. The more people are educated about the condition, the better the chance that they can save their own lives or lives of others.
“The fact that they said Patty Duke’s cause of death was sepsis is relatively new,” Heymann said. “It very often would have been left as a complication of surgery or an infection, but it’s not a complication — it’s sepsis.”
Sepsis is a reaction to an infection that can potentially have devastating side effects... from organ failure and amputation, to death.
Sean Astin, an actor and one of Duke's three children, shared details about his mother's final moments in his only on-camera interview since her death. Astin was at his mother's bedside at a hospital in Couer d'Alene, Idaho, when she died Tuesday after a painful battle.
"She was surrounded by her family," Astin told ET. "It was in the middle of the night and it was a race to get there. It was a very powerful experience. And then, in her last moments, she was at peace."
Astin also added that toward the end, Duke had been "suffering terribly."
Our prayers continue to be with Patty Duke's family and friends at this time. Her death was a heartbreaking loss to the entire entertainment community.
Watch Sean Astin's complete interview in the video below.
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