State Sec. Blokhuis back at work after daughter's death

Paul Blokhuis
Paul Blokhuis. (Photo: Rijksoverheid)

State Secretary Paul Blokhuis of Public Health is back at work after a leave of absence following his . On Twitter he thanked the people of the Netherlands for the support they showed his family during this difficult time.

Julia, 18, passed away late last month a few days after being admitted to the University Medical Center in Utrecht with severe cognitive loss symptoms, believed to be caused by an autoimmune disease. She was the youngest of Blokhuis and his wife Ida's four daughters. Her parents describe her as a gentle, social and sweet girl who was always ready to help others.

After the announcement of Julia's death, Blokhuis and his family received many messages of support. 

"Many thanks for the many warm messages of sympathy", Blokhuis wrote on Twitter on Monday. "With Julia forever in our mind and heart I am back at work. It feels normal and very unreal at the same time. The support of so many people helped us as a family enormously."