Young Disney Star Dies of Enlarged Heart

OPINION | This article contains opinion that reflects the author's views.

Authorities have released the cause of death of 28-year-old actor Jansen Panettiere.

The medical examiner determined that the young man suddenly and unexpectedly passed away due to “cardiomegaly (enlarged heart), coupled with aortic valve complications.”

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After failing to show up for a meeting, he was found unresponsive and sitting in a chair in his New York City apartment.

“Though it offers little solace, the Medical Examiner reported Jansen’s sudden passing was due to cardiomegaly (enlarged heart), coupled with aortic valve complications,” Panettiere’s family announced.

A friend tried to revive him with CPR and called 911.

His sister, actress Hayden Panettiere, is five years older and “is absolutely heartbroken.”

Following in her sister’s footsteps, Panettiere began acting in 2002, including an appearance in the wildly popular show “The Walking Dead.”

Panettiere appeared in “Even Stevens,” “Blue’s Clues,” “Robots,” “Ice Age: The Meltdown,” and “The X’s.”

“She loved her brother unconditionally and the two shared a special bond,” a source said about Hayden.

“Jansen suffered from mental health issues and art was his therapy and escape. In the past, Jansen was open to family and friends about his struggles. Hayden was always there for him and constantly tried to help Jansen when she could,” another source revealed.

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In 2019, Panettiere wrote, “I’m a painter now. I’ve painted for most of my life but only as of recent have I self-identified with the practice. It’s my therapy.”

“Those of you whom understand anxiety and depression know that it’s like suffocating. It’s like searching for a breathe of cool air in a steam room,” he said.

“I paint. I paint my problems. It gives me a sense of ultimate purpose.”

“In a world hypnotized by vanity fueled with comparison, art is my escape. The inner demons call to the angels of our being. Finally all these toxic thoughts and feelings have a stage to play and become something much more than just that weight on my chest, the clenching of my fists, the tightness in my jaw. In the words of Meryl Streep ‘take your broken heart and make art,’” he wrote.