After winning his first congressional bid in a runoff election earlier this month, U.S. Rep.-elect Luke Letlow (R-LA) was prepared for his move to D.C. at the beginning of next year.
Unfortunately, he subsequently contracted COVID-19 and, after landing in the hospital, the 41-year-old suffered a fatal heart attack this week, according to Fox News.
“He had no underlying conditions”
Letlow spent Christmas as a patient at a Shreveport hospital after first testing positive for the virus on Dec. 18.
According to The Monroe News-Star, he was compelled to check into St. Francis Medical Center in Monroe the day after his diagnosis as his condition deteriorated.
Days later, the Republican was transferred to the intensive care unit at Ochsner LSU Health. Reports indicate that his health continued to grow worse and, following a procedure, he suffered a heart attack from which he could not be revived.
LSU Health Shreveport Chancellor Dr. G.E. Ghali issued a statement blaming the virus for a life cut short.
“It’s devastating to our entire team,” he said, according to Fox. “He had no underlying conditions. It was just COVID.”
“A good friend for so many years”
Letlow is survived by his wife, Julia Barnhill Letlow, and two young children, 3-year-old Jeremiah and 11-month-old Jacqueline. A family spokesperson released a statement expressing gratitude for “the numerous prayers and support over the past days” while requesting “privacy during this difficult and unexpected time.”
Andrew Bautsch went on to confirm that a “statement from the family along with funeral arrangements will be announced at a later time.”
After receiving a combination of promising treatments, Letlow had reportedly shown some signs of improvement. Ghali noted that the patient nonetheless experienced a fatal heart attack following one procedure.
The relatively young politician had previously served as chief of staff to retiring Rep. Ralph Abraham (R-LA), whose seat he had just been elected to fill. Earlier in his career, Letlow had been an aide to Bobby Jindal during the latter’s terms as a congressman and governor.
In a Twitter thread following news of Letlow’s death, Jindal wrote: “Luke has been a good friend for so many years, and we are saddened he was taken from us at such a young age. We had talked in recent days about his excitement about the opportunity to serve the people of the 5th Congressional district, and his love and devotion for Julia and their kids.”