The family of actor Jansen Panettiere is speaking out one week after his sudden death.
In a statement issued to Good Morning America and other outlets on Monday, Jansen’s loved ones – including sister and fellow actor Hayden Panettiere – confirmed that the 28-year-old had died of “cardiomegaly (enlarged heart), coupled with aortic valve complications,” citing a medical examiner’s report.
“Jansen’s heart could be seen in his eyes, and his charm in his brilliant, engaging smile; his soul in his masterful and revealing paintings, and the joy of life in his dry wit,” the statement, which was attributed to Hayden as well as Jansen’s father Skip and mother Lesley Vogel, read. “His charisma, warmth, compassion for others, and his creative spirit will live forever in our hearts and in the hearts of all whom he encountered.”
After thanking fans for their “outpouring of love and support,” the family requested their privacy as they mourned, before adding: “We love you so much Jansen and you will be in our hearts forever.”
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, cardiomegaly can be caused by heart damage and other types of heart disease. Over time, an enlarged heart may not pump blood effectively, leading to congestive heart failure.
Jansen, who was based in New York at the time of his death, made his screen acting debut in a 2002 episode of Even Stevens, and two years later, appeared with his sister in the Disney Channel movie Tiger Cruise. Other credits include the 2010 feature film The Perfect Game and a 2019 episode of The Walking Dead, as well as an array of voiceover work.
He was also a visual artist, and showcased a selection of abstract paintings on his Instagram.
“I paint my problems. It gives me a sense of ultimate purpose,” Jansen wrote in a 2019 Medium blog. “In a world hypnotised by vanity fuelled with comparison, art is my escape.”