Bre Payton, 26-Year-Old Political Journalist, Dies Suddenly After Being Diagnosed With Swine Flu

Bre Payton, 26, died suddenly after being found unconscious Thursday.
CaringBridge

Bre Payton, a 26-year-old political writer and TV commentator, died suddenly Friday after being diagnosed with swine flu

Payton was found unconscious and "barely breathing" by her friend, Morgan Murtaugh, on Thursday morning at her apartment in San Diego, California, according to Murtaugh and a CaringBridge page.

Her friend immediately called 911 and Payton was taken to a local hospital where doctors learned she had "the H1N1 flu and possibly meningitis," the page states. 

"She's been in a coma since [she was admitted to the hospital] and really needs a miracle right now," Murtaugh posted on Twitter. "Please, if you're religious at all, send prayers this way."

Prayers immediately started pouring in for the journalist who wrote for The Federalist, a right-wing news outlet. However, by Friday, her employer confirmed she had died. 

"Bre has passed," publisher Ben Domenech wrote on Twitter. "We are devastated. Last we saw her, she was her funny, smart, vivacious self. Now lost to us so suddenly."

Added Murtaugh in another tweet, "Rest in paradise you beautiful soul."

Payton was also frequently a guest on TV news programs on CNN, Fox News and more. 

It's not clear how she contracted the virus. 

Her death prompted an outpouring of condolences from well-known figures, including Meghan McCain, Chris Hayes and Philip Klein. 

"We are less without her — in every possible way," McCain wrote. "A wonderful, fearless, vibrant, intelligent young woman. Sending prayers to all of her family and friends during this darkness."

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