A young member of the Purdue community suddenly passed away in his sleep June 16.
Cosmo Demir, 19, died of complications related to a heart condition that was unknown to him and others until after his passing.
This particular condition, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, causes a thickening of the heart wall in certain areas, which inhibits proper muscle function.
His sister, Scout Demir, reports that the coroner informed the family that this condition generally goes undiagnosed and is one of the leading causes of sudden death in young people.
Demir is survived by his parents and his sisters, Scout and Harper Demir, ages 24 and 20. He had just recently completed his first year in engineering at Purdue and become an initiated member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity.
He attended Lake Central High School in Saint John, Indiana, where he ran cross country with his friend and roommate of this past year, Jeremy Putnam, played in a number of different soccer leagues and first cultivated his love for science that he would later pursue in his studies at Purdue.
His oldest sister recalled his love for science was an innate part of his general character and how his mother was forced to purchase a fire extinguisher for his bedroom, when Demir was in high school, for fear that his many home experiments would someday lead to an inevitable fire.
On one occasion, despite his denial of any fault in the matter, Demir managed to fill his entire home with the smell of sulfur from an experiment gone wrong.
She said though she and their siblings learned to play string instruments as children, Demir had a particular knack for music.
She recalls one time she came home from college to the sounds of music coming from his room. Expecting to find him playing the violin, the instrument he had always played, she was surprised to discover he had, in her absence, begun to play the acoustic guitar.
Putnam said it was common to come back to their shared dorm and find Demir in the room practicing his guitar.
Demir’s sister described him as understated in his skills despite his obvious talents and intelligence.
She said he was incredibly selfless and a person who, while maybe quiet during a conversation, could always wrap it up with a quick one-liner.
“Cosmo was the funny guy,” Putnam said. “I don’t know a single person that didn’t like him. He lit up the room.”
“He put others first,” she said. “The most admirable part is that he didn’t even have to try. There are not a lot of people like that … someone who can be that great of a person without even trying hard.”
Her sentiments are echoed by those who knew Demir as a Purdue student.
Steven Lorenz, Phi Delta Theta’s president, described Demir as someone who embodied what it means to be a Phi Delta, whose motto it is to “Live for the service of others.”
Putnam, also a member of Phi Delta Theta, said, “He was the epitome of that.”