Rising star Charlbi Dean’s sudden and mysterious death has finally been explained.
In case you didn’t know, her rep shared with NBC News that the actress (born Charlbi Dean Kriek) had passed away from “an unexpected sudden illness” on August 29. The actress was making a bigger name for herself this year with a major role in the award-winning film Triangle of Sadness. The poor girl didn’t even get to see its stateside release. She was just 32 years old. Awful.
Charlbi’s brother Alex Jacobs opened up about her death to Rolling Stone at the time, revealing she started experiencing “minor” symptoms and asked her fiance, Luke Volker, to take her to an emergency room in New York City. However, she never made it out of the hospital as she died just hours later. He told the outlet:
“This happened literally within the span of a day: getting a headache, going to sleep, waking up her boyfriend and saying please take me to the hospital. We still aren’t entirely sure . There’s an autopsy being done which we know might take quite a while. But what we have heard there was a viral infection in her lungs.”
Now her official cause of death has been revealed, and it’s so upsetting… A spokesperson for the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner shared with People on Wednesday that Charlbi passed away from bacterial sepsis. But here’s the wild and messed up part! According to the spokesperson, the sepsis “was a complication from asplenia (the absence of a spleen) due to remote blunt trauma to her torso.”
See, Alex told Rolling Stone that his sister had been in a “very, very bad car accident” around 2009, where she suffered from broken ribs and a broken back. At the time, doctors ended up having to remove her spleen. He added:
“ involved in fighting off infections, and that could have had something to do with what happened. Her spleen not being there just added on to the reason why she perhaps couldn’t fight it off.”
So basically, the Black Lightning star died due to a complication from a common surgery she received more than 10 YEARS AGO! The New York City coroner’s statement provided some more clarification about the sepsis, noting it was caused after Charlbi got infected with a bacteria known as Capnocytophaga. Per the CDC, the type of infection is rare – but there are different species of it that can develop in the mouths of humans and also are found in the mouths of dogs and cats. Those who have autoimmune issues and do not have spleens are more vulnerable to Capnocytophaga.
It’s unknown if an animal bite or lick was responsible for her infection since the medical examiner hasn’t released the full autopsy report. However, the spokesperson shared her death was ultimately ruled an accident. Wow. Such a tragedy…
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