Months after Charlbi Dean tragically died from a “sudden, unexpected illness,” a cause of death has been confirmed by a New York City medical examiner. The actress, who was 32 at the time of her death in August 2022, had passed away from bacterial sepsis, a spokesperson confirmed to People.
According to the outlet, the sepsis “was a complication from asplenia” — the absence of a spleen — due to “remote blunt trauma to her torso.” Days after her death, Dean’s brother, Alex Jacobs, revealed that she had been involved in a “very, very bad car accident” more than a decade ago, which resulted in doctors needing to remove her spleen in a common surgery, per Rolling Stone. She also suffered broken ribs and a broken back from the accident.
The bacterial sepsis, however, was caused after she was infected with Capnocytophaga, a common bacteria that can cause rare infections in those with autoimmune issues as well as people without spleens. While infections can be transmitted from dogs and cats to humans as the bacteria is present in their mouths, it is not clear if Dean’s case is the result of an animal bite or lick.
Her brother further elaborated on the day of her passing to Rolling Stone, when he spoke to the outlet back in August. He said she had died hours after being taken to the emergency room for experiencing “minor” symptoms.
“This happened literally within the span of a day: getting a headache, going to sleep, waking up her boyfriend and saying please take me to the hospital,” Jacobs explained.
The South African actress, whose death was ruled an accident, most recently starred opposite Woody Harrison in the satirical dark comedy, Triangle of Sadness, where she was expected to become the next breakout star. You can stream her final performance on digital outlets such as Vudu and Prime Video.
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