Writers and editors at the conservative site the Federalist are mourning the loss of one of their own Friday — staff writer Bre Payton, who reportedly died after falling into a coma. She was 26.
In a tweet Friday morning, the Federalist’s publisher Ben Domenech asked readers to pray for Payton, who had been hospitalized in California. “I am asking you all to pray this morning for our own @Bre_payton, who is battling a horrible and sudden medical condition,” Domenech wrote. In his tweet, he linked to a Caring Bridge page which described what had unfolded in the hours before.
“Around 8:30 this morning, December 27th, Bre’s friend went into her room and found her unresponsive and barely breathing,” the explanation reads. “Bre was taken to the hospital where she was admitted to the ICU, sedated & intubated.” After performing a series of tests, doctors reportedly concluded that Payton had “the H1N1 flu and possibly meningitis” — both infections that can be deadly. “The doctors are concerned that her neurological signs are not great at this point and have informed us the next 24-48 hours are going to be critical for her,” the page reads.
Several more posts on Twitter revealed that the friend who found her was Morgan Murtaugh, a 26-year-old Republican and — as of this year — the youngest female candidate for U.S. Congress. “24 hours ago I found my friend unconscious and called 911,” Murtaugh tweeted. “She’s been in a coma since and really needs a miracle right now. Please, if you’re religious at all, send prayers this way. We really need them.” By Friday afternoon, Murtaugh had updated her tweet.
“It is with a heavy heart that I type this,” she wrote. “Unfortunately Bre has passed.”