Public Health Sec. Blokhuis' daughter, 18, passed away

Paul Blokhuis

The 18-year-old daughter of State Secretary Paul Blokhuis of Public Health passed away suddenly on Sunday. She was admitted to the University Medical Center in Utrecht late last week with severe cognitive loss symptoms believed to be caused by an autoimmune disease, a spokesperson for Blokhuis said, NOS reports.

Julia is the youngest daughter of Blokhuis and his wife Ida. Her parents describe her as a gentle, social and sweet girl who was always ready to help others. The Ministry of Public Health, Welfare and Sports and Blokhuis' party ChristenUnie placed an obituary in Trouw and Nederlands Dagblad, saying they are dismayed by Julia's death.

Blokhuis will not be at work for the rest of this week and next week at least. If necessary, his duties will be handled by his colleagues at the Ministry.