On June 16, 2020, Kentucky Congressman Andy Barr’s wife passed away suddenly at the age of 39.
Initial Autopsy Reports Were Unclear
Eleanor Carol Leavell Barr was pronounced dead in her home in Lexington for reasons initially unspecified, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.
“Congressman Andy Barr’s wife Carol passed away suddenly tonight at the family home in Lexington,” Barr’s Chief of Staff Mary Rosado said in a statement.
“During this tragic time, we respectfully ask for privacy for Congressman Barr and his family to grieve Mrs. Barr being called home to heaven. Congressman Barr may release a more detailed statement at a later date, but right now is solely focused on being a father to his two beautiful daughters,” Rosado continued.
Andy Barr has been the representative for Kentucky’s 6th Congressional District since 2013. The Republican couple had been married since 2008.
A Heart Condition Was Shown to Blame
Preliminary autopsy reports released on June 18, 2020 identified that Eleanor had a heart condition and it is now believed to be the probable cause of death.
The precise autopsy findings listed said that she had mitral valve prolapse or floppy valve syndrome. This condition does not allow for the valve between the heart’s upper and lower left chambers to close correctly.
It is rare for this condition to cause any problems, let alone death, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. On rare occasions, if blood does go through the floppy valve the wrong way, this can cause chest pain, heart palpitations and shortness of breath.
Congressman Barr Asks for Prayer
“At this time of tremendous grief and pain, we ask for prayers for our beautiful, dear and precious Carol, the greatest, most selfless and giving wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend anyone could ever have.,” Barr said in a statement released by his office.
“We also ask for love and prayers for Carol’s greatest legacy — her loving and devoted daughters Eleanor and Mary Clay — through whom Carol’s extraordinary life, high character and irrepressible spirit will continue,” he said. “In this moment of profound grief and heartbreak, we are so grateful for the gift and blessing of Carol’s life, for her strong faith in her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, for the comfort of fond memories and her victory in heaven and for all those who have surrounded Carol’s family, the girls and I with beautiful expressions of love, compassion and sympathy.”
Kentucky Leaders Send Sympathy
Politicians and leaders in Kentucky have made their condolences known publicly.
“Her warmth filled whatever room she entered and her contributions made Kentucky a better place for all of us,” U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in the statement. “And to Eleanor and Mary Clay, Carol was a wonderful role model and source of constant love. We send our sincere condolences to Andy, their family and his staff at this terribly painful time.”
“She was a true Kentuckian,” Kentucky Commissioner Ryan Quarles said. “She loved our state and always had a smile on her face.”
Funeral arrangements are still currently pending.