Skye McCole Bartusiak, the 21-year-old actress who tragically died on Saturday, had been suffering from seizures in recent days, her mother said.
While investigators have still yet to determine a cause of death, the actress’ mother, Helen McCole Bartusiak, told CNN that Bartusiak’s boyfriend found the young woman sitting up in the bed of her garage apartment, which is adjacent to her parents’ Houston home.
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“We think she had a seizure and choked and nobody was there,” Helen McCole Bartusiak said.
They called for paramedics, but it was too late. “They were working on her for 45 minutes and could not get a heartbeat,” she explained. “I’ve done CPR on that kid more than one time and it just didn’t work this time.”
Her mother also told CNN that Skye had suffered from epileptic seizures since she was a baby. The seizures disappeared for years before returning last week.
As TheWrap previously reported, Skye McCole Bartusiak is best known for starring alongside Mel Gibson in “The Patriot,” but she also had major roles in “Cider House Rules.” Her first on screen appearance was in Stephen King‘s 1999 television miniseries “Storm of the Century.”
“We lost our girl,” her mother said. “She was a kind and really beautiful girl.”