Dan Evans, the husband of the popular Christian author, Rachel Held Evans, announced on her website that she has died at the age of 37.
"I keep hoping it’s a nightmare from which I’ll awake," Dan wrote in announcing that Rachel died on the morning of Saturday, May 4, 2019.
Rachel tweeted on April 9 that she was feeling ill. She was hospitalized on April 14 and put into a medically induced coma a short time later. Dan updated her website on April 30 to say she was being weaned off the coma-inducing drugs and slowly brought out of the coma.
Dan explained in the May 4 update that "Her seizures returned but at a reduced rate," after coming off the medication.
"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."
He says that on Thursday, May 2, "Rachel experienced sudden and extreme changes in her vitals."
Dan says the medical team discovered swelling in her brain and worked to the best of their abilities to save her until Friday.
She passed away in the early hours of Saturday, May 4.
Young family left behind
Rachel and Dan married in October of 2003.
They had two children together. The oldest is three-years-old, and the youngest is not yet a year old.
"I cannot express how much the support means to me and our kids," Dan wrote. "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."
Online tributes pour in
Fellow author and friend of Rachel's, Sarah Bessey, said that she and other friends and family were with her when she passed away.
It is with a broken heart that I share that @rachelheldevans passed away early this morning. She was surrounded by her family and her close friends - we sang, prayed, held her always. Woman of valour, eshet chayil. Official update: https://t.co/WYznnc5tYh— Sarah Bessey (@sarahbessey) May 4, 2019
Tributes from other artists, authors, and ministry leaders have poured in online.
Sobbing over @rachelheldevans’ death. My heart is broken for Dan and the children and for all of you who loved her so so much. I will spend the time I’ve been daily praying for her praying for all of you.— Beth Moore (@BethMooreLPM) May 4, 2019
Rachel Held Evans was a beautiful human being. Her strength, courage, wisdom, and love inspired so many of us. I am so grateful and honored to have known her. We will miss you Rachel.— Michael Gungor (@michaelgungor) May 4, 2019
Tremendous grief: My dear friend @rachelheldevans has died. My heart is shattered. She helped so many of us better recognize how expansive God’s love is. I am the writer I am, the speaker I am, the person I am, because of her generosity. https://t.co/0i1Br8MNS2— Jeff Chu (@jeffchu) May 4, 2019
Kris and I lament the loss of Rachel Held Evans. We are stunned. #PrayforRHE— scotmcknight (@scotmcknight) May 4, 2019