Louisiana Rep.-elect Luke Letlow, who died while battling COVID-19, suffered a heart attack following a procedure, a hospital official said.
The 41-year-old was receiving treatment in the intensive care unit at Ochsner LSU Health in Shreveport when he died Tuesday, the Monroe News-Star reported.
LSU Health Shreveport Chancellor G.E. Ghali confirmed Letlow underwent an operation related to the virus and later went into cardiac arrest.
“It’s devastating to our entire team,” Ghali told the paper, adding that he “had no underlying conditions.”
The Republican had first announced that he tested positive for the virus Dec. 18 and said he was quarantining at his Richland Parish home.
But his health began to deteriorate and on Dec. 19, he was admitted to St. Francis Medical Center, and eventually transferred to Ochsner LSU Health.
Letlow is survived by his wife, Julia Barnhill Letlow, in addition to his children, 3-year-old Jeremiah and 11-month-old Jacqueline, the paper reported.
“The family appreciates the numerous prayers and support over the past days but asks for privacy during this difficult and unexpected time,” Letlow’s spokesman Andrew Bautsch said in a statement to the Monroe News-Star.
Letlow was set to be sworn in to Congress on Sunday after he won the Pelican State’s 5th District seat in a Dec. 5 runoff race.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards offered his condolences to Letlow’s family and said he had ordered flags to be flown at half-staff on the day of the congressman-elect’s funeral, which will be announced at a later date.
“COVID-19 has taken Congressman-elect Letlow from us far too soon. I am heartbroken that he will not be able to serve our people as a U.S. Representative, but I am even more devastated for his loving family,” Edwards said in a statement.
In a Facebook post on Sunday, Letlow’s wife, Julia, had thanked the public for their “continued prayers and well wishes” as her husband continued to battle the illness.
“We thank you all from the bottom of our hearts for the outpouring of support we have received and feel truly blessed to be touched by the prayers of so many,” she wrote.