Rachel Held Evans Dies at 37

Update 5/4/2019 -- Rachel Held Evans has died at age 37, her husband confirmed on her website.

Full text of the update:

Rachel was slowly weaned from the coma medication. Her seizures returned but at a reduced rate. There were periods of time where she didn’t have seizures at all. Rachel did not return to an alert state during this process. The hospital team worked to diagnose the primary cause of her seizures and proactively treated for some known possible causes for which diagnostics were not immediately available due to physical limitations.

Early Thursday morning, May 2, Rachel experienced sudden and extreme changes in her vitals. The team at the hospital discovered extensive swelling of her brain and took emergency action to stabilize her. The team worked until Friday afternoon to the best of their ability to save her. This swelling event caused severe damage and ultimately was not survivable.

Rachel died early Saturday morning, May 4, 2019.

This entire experience is surreal. I keep hoping it’s a nightmare from which I’ll awake. I feel like I’m telling someone else’s story. I cannot express how much the support means to me and our kids. To everyone who has prayed, called, texted, driven, flown, given of themselves physically and financially to help ease this burden: Thank you. We are privileged. Rachel’s presence in this world was a gift to us all and her work will long survive her.


She leaves behind a husband and two small children, one three and one less than a year old. A GoFundMe has been set up to help her family with the medical bills.

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Update 5/1/2019 -- Another report from RHE's husband. Full text:

The neurology team at the hospital is weaning Rachel off of the coma medication. This is a multi-day process that started a few days ago. This is not the first attempt at weaning but it is the first attempt at the current facility. Our hope is that she has had time to heal, the medications used are helpful, and the seizures won’t start again.

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Update 4/29/2019 -- Another new update. Full text:

Rachel is still in the induced coma which aids in preventing seizures. However, coma is not a long term solution and there are risks associated with continuing to induce coma. There are still tests outstanding for which we don’t yet have results. Drs are working to find a combination of medications to allow them to wean her from the coma medication without seizures restarting.

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Update 4/26/2019 -- Her husband has posted yet another update indicating RHE is still in a coma as doctors try to "prevent continuous seizure activity" due to “compounding factors.” He said she is no longer being treated for an infection and has been transferred by air to a different hospital.

Full text of the update:

Rachel is still in a medically induced coma to prevent continuous seizure activity. She is not being treated for an infection at this time. She is being treated for the seizure activity. At this point the best explanation I have received for the cause of her condition is “compounding factors.” Yesterday, due to Dr recommendation, Rachel was transferred by air to a different hospital. This is the third facility we’ve been to. To everyone who has risen up to walk this road with us in person, by phone, and online: My family can’t thank you enough. We are honored by your support and encouragement.

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Update 4/23/2019 -- Her husband posted another update. Full text:

The news today is about the same as yesterday. Rachel is still in the ICU in a medically induced coma. Sarah Bessey, Jeff Chu, and Jim Chaffee started a GoFundMe campaign for us. With unknown financial obligations pending this is a great practical encouragement to our family. Thank you again to everyone who has donated their time and resources and offered their thoughts and prayers. Rachel would have a really beautiful way to say all of this.

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Update 4/22/2019 -- Rachel Held Evans' husband posted a brief update on her blog indicating that she is still in a coma.

Here is the full update:

Rachel is still in a medically induced coma. Drs are working to balance her treatment in an attempt to avoid negative effects of the constant seizures but also avoid possible negative effects of any medications used to sedate her and control them.

This article will be updated when new information is available.

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4/20/2019 Adam Ford -- Popular and controversial progressive Rachel Held Evans has been placed in a medically induced coma after suffering a severe allergic reaction to antibiotics.

Nearly a week ago Held Evans tweeted “I’m in the hospital with a flu + UTI combo and a severe allergic reaction to the antibiotics they gave me” and asked for prayer.

If you’re the praying type - I’m in the hospital with a flu + UTI combo and a severe allergic reaction to the antibiotics they gave me. (I’m totally going to miss GOT! 😢)

— Rachel Held Evans (@rachelheldevans) April 14, 2019

Then on Friday night her husband shared this update on her website:

During treatment for an infection Rachel began exhibiting unexpected symptoms. Doctors found that her brain was experiencing constant seizures. She is currently in the ICU. She is in a medically induced coma while the doctors work to determine the cause and solution.

Her husband Dan wrote that he will share public updates “as needed.”

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