What Did Patty Duke Die From At 69?

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Patty Duke passed away at age 69 on March 29, 2016.

Older girls (or those of us who just adore vintage television shows) will remember Patty Duke as Helen Keller from The Miracle Worker or from The Patty Duke Show, where she adorably played identical twin cousins Patty and Cathy. Younger ladies will understand her from her cameos on Glee, Liv and Maddie, and Hawaii Five – 0. And she will be sorely missed by people of all ages.

But how did the beloved performer perish? Blood poisoning from a ruptured intestine, according to a statement release by Duke’s family:

“This morning, our beloved wife, mother, grandmother, matriarch and also the exquisite artist, humanitarian, and champion for mental health Anna PATTY DUKE Pearce, closed her eyes, calmed her pain and ascended to an amazing area. She died at 1:20 a.m. PST in Couer D’Alene Idaho at Kootenai Health from complications associated with a ruptured intestine.”

Since he didn’t treat Duke, he says it is hard to understand what her illness was but said that diverticulitis (disease in the digestive tract) and cancer are just two common reasons for intestinal rupture.

“Intestines really infrequently rupture spontaneously. It’s generally an unforeseen complication of another illness or a surgical procedure,” he describes. “On its own, a ruptured intestine is extremely treatable with antibiotics or even operation and your danger of dying from it low.”

More: The thing you should know about illnesses that ended Glenn Frey’s life

But he adds that if the gastrointestinal perforation results in an infection, that ups the danger of passing. This can happen when bacteria, belly acid, bile, partially digested food and stool leak into the abdominal cavity. Someone would then start to show symptoms of infection like a high temperature, vomiting and intense stomach pain, which would need immediate medical attention. That can lead to major difficulties, including death if the disease isn’t treated right away.

Our condolences to her family as they deal with this tremendous loss.

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