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Family of actor Nelsan Ellis release details behind his death

Nelsan Ellis - 1977-2017
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Fans of the hit show True Blood were in shock over the weekend as news broke about one of the series’ stars Nelsan Ellis’ sudden death.

Ellis was only 39-years-old and many speculated that the cause of his passing was due to heart failure.

The Ellis family confirmed that it was indeed heart failure, but they add that the circumstances behind it were due to alcohol withdrawal.  

according to The Hollywood Reporter, Ellis’ family wanted to share the details of his death so others can get the help they need if they are suffering through the same thing. 

The family released the following statement through Nelsan's manager Emily Gerson Saines:

Nelsan’s father has bravely agreed for me to share the circumstances of Nelsan’s heart failure.

Nelsan has suffered with drug and alcohol abuse for years.

After many stints in rehab, Nelsan attempted to withdraw from alcohol on his own.

According to his father, during his withdrawal from alcohol he had a blood infection, his kidneys shut down, his liver was swollen, his blood pressure plummeted, and his dear sweet heart raced out of control.

On the morning of Saturday July 8th, after four days in Woodhull Hospital, Nelsan was pronounced dead.

Nelsan was a gentle, generous and kind soul.

He was a father, a son, a grandson, a brother, a nephew, and a great friend to those that were lucky enough to know him. Nelsan was ashamed of his addiction and thus was reluctant to talk about it during his life.

His family, however, believes that in death he would want his life to serve as a cautionary tale in an attempt to help others.

Ellis is survived by his grandmother, Alex Brown; his father, Tommie Lee Thompson; and his son, Breon Ellis. He is also survived by his siblings Lakeeia Thomson, Tommie Lee Thompson, Babon Ellis, Maurice Turne, Tianna Thompson, Shaentika Beard and Yvonne Ellis and aunt Tartheaia Thompson.