Laura Delava Cause of Death: How a Young Powerlifting Champion Died of a Sudden Infection

Laura Delava was a rising star in the sport of powerlifting, a discipline that involves lifting heavy weights in three different exercises: squat, bench press, and deadlift. She had started powerlifting in the summer of 2022 and had quickly achieved remarkable results, becoming the Belgian champion in the subjunior category (under 18 years old) in September of the same year. She had also set four national records in her weight class of less than 69 kilograms.

However, her promising career and life were cut short by a tragic and unexpected event. On April 24, 2023, Laura Delava died at the age of 18, just 24 hours after being diagnosed with a severe infection. The official cause of death was myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle that can be triggered by viral or bacterial infections.

How Did Laura Delava Get Infected?

According to Sudinfo, a local newspaper, Laura Delava had been feeling unwell for a few days before her death. She had complained of headaches, fatigue, and nausea, but had not sought medical attention. She had also continued to train and study, as she was pursuing a degree in sports coaching.

On Sunday, April 23, 2023, Laura Delava’s condition worsened. She had a high fever and difficulty breathing. Her family took her to the hospital, where she was diagnosed with a “brilliant infection”, a term that refers to a fast-spreading and aggressive infection that affects multiple organs. The doctors suspected that she had contracted a rare strain of meningococcal bacteria, which can cause meningitis and septicemia.

Laura Delava was transferred to the intensive care unit and put on a ventilator. She was also given antibiotics and other treatments, but her situation did not improve. The infection had damaged her heart, causing myocarditis. This condition can lead to heart failure, arrhythmia, or cardiac arrest.

On Monday, April 24, 2023, at 1 p.m., the doctors informed Laura Delava’s family that her condition was irreversible and that she had no chance of survival. She passed away shortly after, leaving behind her parents, her brother, and her boyfriend.

How Did the Powerlifting Community React to Laura Delava’s Death?

Laura Delava’s death shocked and saddened the powerlifting community, both in Belgium and abroad. She was widely admired and respected for her talent, her determination, and her personality. She had inspired many young people to take up the sport and had made many friends along the way.

Her club, Poids et Haltères, based in the town of Seraing, paid tribute to her on social media, calling her “our national ray of sunshine”. The club’s president and coach, Michel Bertrand, said that “nothing foreshadowed this tragedy” and that “she will leave a great void in our sports community”.

Many other powerlifters, coaches, and fans also expressed their condolences and shared their memories of Laura Delava on Instagram, where she had more than 10,000 followers. Some of them also posted videos of her lifting performances, highlighting her strength and technique.

One of her friends wrote: “I hope in your last moments you were surrounded well and reached the top maybe your loved ones left before you. Dying so young is unthinkable, that’s where you see no one is safe. Rest in peace Laura.”

What Is Myocarditis and How Can It Be Prevented?

Myocarditis is a rare but serious condition that affects about 1.5 million people worldwide every year, according to the Myocarditis Foundation. It is an inflammation of the heart muscle that can be caused by various factors, such as infections, autoimmune diseases, drugs, toxins, or allergies.

The symptoms of myocarditis can vary depending on the severity and the underlying cause. They can include chest pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, fever, palpitations, or fainting. In some cases, myocarditis can be asymptomatic or mild, and resolve on its own. In other cases, it can lead to complications such as heart failure, arrhythmia, or cardiac arrest, which can be fatal.

The diagnosis of myocarditis can be challenging, as it requires a combination of tests, such as blood tests, electrocardiogram, echocardiogram, or cardiac MRI. The treatment of myocarditis depends on the cause and the extent of the damage. It can include medications, such as anti-inflammatory drugs, antibiotics, or antivirals, or more invasive procedures, such as implantable devices, ventricular assist devices, or heart transplantation.

The prevention of myocarditis is not always possible, as some of the causes are unpredictable or unavoidable. However, some general measures can help reduce the risk of developing the condition, such as:

Avoiding contact with people who have infections, especially respiratory or meningococcal infections.

Getting vaccinated against common infectious diseases, such as influenza, measles, mumps, rubella, or meningitis.

Practicing good hygiene, such as washing hands frequently, covering mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, or disinfecting surfaces.

Seeking medical attention promptly if experiencing symptoms of infection, such as fever, sore throat, rash, or headache.

Avoiding strenuous physical activity or exercise when sick or recovering from an infection, as this can put extra stress on the heart.

Following a healthy lifestyle, such as eating a balanced diet, drinking enough water, quitting smoking, limiting alcohol intake, and managing stress.


Laura Delava was a young and talented powerlifting champion who died of a sudden and severe infection that caused myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle. Her death was a tragic and unexpected event that shocked and saddened the powerlifting community and her loved ones. She will be remembered for her achievements, her passion, and her smile.

Myocarditis is a rare but serious condition that can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, or health status. It can be caused by various factors, such as infections, autoimmune diseases, drugs, toxins, or allergies. It can have mild or severe symptoms, and can lead to complications such as heart failure, arrhythmia, or cardiac arrest. The diagnosis and treatment of myocarditis can be challenging, and the prevention is not always possible. However, some general measures can help reduce the risk of developing the condition, such as avoiding contact with infected people, getting vaccinated, practicing good hygiene, seeking medical attention promptly, avoiding strenuous physical activity when sick, and following a healthy lifestyle.

Doms Desk

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