Felicite Tomlinson’s cause of death is reported to be a heart attack, and experts are explaining how the 18-year-old sister of singer Louis Tomlinson could have suffered a major health defect at such a young age.
Felicite passed away this week after suddenly falling ill in her London apartment, and officials said that she suffered a “heart attack/cardiac arrest,” Hollywood Life reported. The death led to an outpouring of support from One Direction fans, as well as plenty of questions about how a young and healthy teenager suffered what is normally seen as a cause of death for people middle aged and older.
Hollywood Life spoke to Dr. Reed Wilson, a Beverly Hills cardiologist who explained that heart attacks are rare in young people, but that they can sometimes be suffered due to genetic defects.
“Some young adults can be born with abnormalities of the coronary arteries that can lead to sudden death,” Dr. Wilson said. “The heart has two arteries, a right and a left (the left immediately splits into two). But some individuals have just one that supplies the whole heart, while others have arteries that travel in strange directions to get to the heart. Both of these can lead to heart attacks.”
Wilson noted the case of Pete Maravich, the former NBA great who died of a heart attack at the age of 40 while playing a pickup basketball game. The report also pointed to former Miss Teen Universe winner Lotte van der Zee, who passed away last week at the age of 20 while on a ski vacation with her family. While van der Zee’s cause of death remained something of a mystery, reports noted that she also suffered cardiac arrest of some kind. Her death remains under investigation.
Here Are Félicité Tomlinson's Last Instagram Posts Before Her Death, And The Messages Of Support Fans Are Sending Louis https://t.co/Ic94B69oxX— BuzzFeed (@BuzzFeed) March 15, 2019
Dr. Wilson added that some young adults can also suffer from a high level of blood clotting, and that this happens more frequently in women. A blood clot can go to the heart and block flow, causing a heart attack, or sometimes can move into the brain and cause a stroke. Taking birth control can sometimes increase the chances of suffering a blood clot, he added.
It was not clear if Felicite Tomlinson had any kind of underlying medical condition that contributed to her death.
Felicite Tomlinson’s death was quite unexpected for her family, and reports noted that Louis Tomlinson has been devastated at his sister’s death. A report from In Touch Weekly noted that the One Direction singer was inconsolable.