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More details are emerging surrounding the untimely death of True Blood actor Nelsan Ellis. His family revealed today (July 10), that Ellis battles alcoholism and the heart failure he suffered was due to withdrawal.

With hopes of helping those battling alcohol issues, Ellis’ family released the following statement to The Hollywood Reporter:

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.

By the outpouring of love shown on social media after news broke of his passing, it’s clear that Ellis made a lasting impact on the world during his too short time on this Earth.

Rest in power Nelsan Ellis.